Chicken Challenge: Cook the Pantry (day 4) Chicken, Basil and Mozzarella Pizza

This is day 4 (meal 5) of my Chicken Challenge. I roasted a chicken on Saturday and am trying to see how many different recipes (serving 1-2) that I can make from the contents of my rather bare pantry. This challenge is forcing me to think more creatively than usual about substitutions and combinations—excellent training for sticking to a grocery budget.

Today I decided to attempt a pizza—even though I’ve never actually made pizza before.  And let the experiment begin!

I used this recipe for the crust with a few very minor modifications: I didn’t have bread flour, so I used all-purpose, and I added about a tablespoon of an Italian spice mix and a bit of onion powder to the dough.

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I used my grill pan since I don’t have a pizza stone.

I didn’t have pizza sauce, in fact, I don’t even have pasta sauce (is there a difference? Inquiring minds want to know.) right now, so I mixed half a jar of bruschetta that was hanging out in the back of the fridge with an 8 ounce can of tomato paste. Next I tossed about half a cup of chicken in the food processor, minced it to largish chunks and layered that over the tomato. Then I grated some mozzarella over the chicken and topped that with basil.Photo11Photo2

I cooked the whole shebang for 18 minutes at 450.

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Check out that crust—crisp and crunchy, just like I like it. Might even be better than my favorite pizzeria. This recipe is definitely a keeper.  I didn’t want a huge pizza, so I froze half the dough. So half the recipe makes an approximately 8 inch pizza, way too big for an individual serving, but more manageable than twice that would have been.

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Final thoughts: I can’t believe I’ve never attempted pizza before! I’ve always put it off because I assumed the dough had to rise for a lengthy amount of time. The crust recipe that I used took about 20 minutes to put together—add that to a 15-20 minute cooking time, and that’s quicker than delivery! My toppings were good, but my choices were, obviously, constrained by limited options. Still, very good.

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