Pesto Chicken Pizza
Recipe from DC Slices, Washington, DC
Makes one 16-inch (40 cm) pizza
Tom and Eric would be the first to tell you there’s nothing fancy schmancy about the pies coming out of DC Slices. This ex-T-shirt vendor and ex-air traffic controller know the most important rule of gourmet Italian: less is a-more. They tried fancy crusts and toppings, but they found success in simplicity. Like Tom says, “We’re just two guys trying to make pizza.”
When you make the Pesto Chicken Pizza, remember their motto: “It’s not a DC slice unless you use the spice.”
1 cup warm water (100°F/38°C) 250 mL
1 pkg active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar 2 mL
3 1/2 cups bread flour 875 mL
1 tsp sea salt 4 mL
1 1/2 tsp olive oil 6 mL
Pesto Chicken Pizza
3/4 cup + 2 TBsp pesto 200 mL
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese 250 mL
1/2 lb cooked chicken breast, chopped 225 g
Fresh basil, chopped
For the pizza dough, PLACE warm water in a small bowl; STIR in yeast and sugar until dissolved. COVER bowl and set aside until liquid is foamy, about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, COMBINE 3 cups (750 mL) of the flour with salt. Make a well in the centre and add yeast mixture and oil. BEAT with a wooden spoon to form a soft, sticky mass.
TURN dough out onto a well-floured work surface. With floured hands, KNEAD dough, adding more flour, a little at a time, until smooth and elastic, 8 to 12 minutes. SHAPE dough into a ball. Place dough in a large oiled bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover with wax paper and a clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
With a floured fist, PUNCH down dough. Cover again and let rise for another 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, PREHEAT oven to 425°f (220°c). Lightly oil a 16-inch (40 cm) pizza pan or screen or a rimless baking sheet.
For the pizza, on a lightly floured work surface, ROLL out dough to a 16-inch (40 cm) circle. Fit dough into pizza pan. Spread pesto over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch (1 cm) border. SPRINKLE cheese evenly over pizza. ARRANGE chopped chicken over cheese.
BAKE pizza for 25 to 30 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes (if you can wait that long). Sprinkle with basil, then SLICE and serve.
Look for another Eat St. recipe in the upcoming issue of VINES, on stands the first week of April.