Thursday, May 28, 2009

Margherita + Chicken Pesto Pizzas

During the last time I made pizzas, my family complained about there being no meat pie available. At their request, I created a pie with Chicken along with the traditional Margherita like usual. A huge recommendation for pizza making is either to have a pizza pan or pizza stone to bake them on. I used a pizza stone.

Unfortunately for myself and my boyfriend, the Margherita ended up being our so called 'fail pizza'. This was due to our unfamiliarity with the pizza stone I had just bought, and the pie getting stuck on the cutting board (despite being floured up).

Pizza Sauce (enough for 2 pizzas)
  • Box of Trader Joe's Italian Tomato Sauce Starter
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp butter
The last time I had made pizzas, the way I made pizza sauce seemed to be incredibly successful, so I did it again. Start off by heating up the pan on medium, and pouring the box contents of the tomato sauce starter. I like using this because it already contains the basics of olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and onions. If you don't have access to this, I would just suggest the standard practice of sauteing the garlic and onions in olive oil and adding a can of tomatoes. After adding the sauce in, I add in all of the spices into the mix. When the sauce heats up, add the butter and stir in until completely dissolved into the sauce. Put sauce on low and let it hang out until you get the pizza ready.

Margherita Pizza
  • Pizza dough (I bought mine at Trader Joe's)
  • Flour (to dust the board, in order to roll it out)
  • Corn meal or cooking spray (place or spray on the pizza stone, so pizza won't stick)
  • Pizza sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • basil leaves
  • Parmesan cheese
If you buy store bought pizza dough, follow the instructions listed on the box or bag.
Firstly, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees with the pizza stone inside the oven. Use cooking spray or place corn meal on pizza stone, in order for pizza not to stick while baking.
Flour your board (or pizza peel, make sure it is wooden), roll out your dough and prepare your pizza by putting approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil on the dough before anything else. Add your pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and then one more layer of olive oil (same measurement).
Either use a pizza peel (with corn meal dusted on the bottom to prevent stickage) or assemble directly on the pizza stone. I would recommend having a pizza peel, but in my case, I do not have one. My boyfriend and I made the mistake of assembling the pizza on our plastic cutting board, which was an incredibly bad idea. After this 'fail pizza', we decided to assemble our next pizza on the pizza stone itself.
Once the oven is ready, put the pizza in and let it cook for approximately 8 minutes at 450 degrees. You can test if the crust is ready by sticking a toothpick in it. If it sticks, it is not ready!

Our pretty pie before becoming 'fail pizza' and getting stuck on the cutting board:
When finished, take pizza out and immediately put fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese on top of the pizza. Both of them will melt and cook while the pizza is still hot!

'Fail pizza' after is was cooked:

Since part of the pizza didn't have much on it, I decided to fix that. I put toppings on it and put it in my toaster oven for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. This came out to be a little pizza that I decided to share with my boyfriend. The colors looked pretty on it:
After laughing off my horrible 'fail pizza', let me take you to a pizza that came out great! It's a Chicken Pesto pizza with grilled chicken, broccoli, sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella cheese.

Pesto sauce (enough for 2 pizzas)
  • 2 cups of fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (walnuts and almonds are okay as well)
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper to taste
Start off by toasting the pine nuts in a pan on low. Heat until pine nuts become brown.
Place basil, pine nuts, garlic and 1/4 cup of olive oil into a food processor. Pulse until fine, stopping occassionaly to scrap down the sides of the food processor in order not to miss any bits. Gradually add the other 1/4 cup of olive oil while pulsing. Once the pesto is at the right consistancy, fold in parmesan cheese and salt & pepper.

Chicken Pesto Pizza
  • Pizza dough (I bought mine at Trader Joe's)
  • Flour (to dust the board, in order to roll it out)
  • Corn meal or cooking spray (place or spray on the pizza stone, so pizza won't stick)
  • Pesto sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Grilled chicken (pre-cook before making pizza)
  • Chopped broccoli
  • Sundried tomatoes
Follow the instructions above about pizza dough if you don't already know about it.
Assemble the pie by covering the dough with a layer of pesto sauce, chicken, cheese, broccoli and sundried tomatoes. Put in the oven at 450 degrees for about 8-10 minutes.

Pizza before hitting the oven:
Pizza after coming out of the oven:
Eat while hot, and enjoy! Hope you enjoy the pizzas :)

What to do with the extra sauce?
Buy some pre-made ravioli, boil it and serve it for an appetizer or for tomorrows lunch!


  1. how was the pesto? I have yet to find a good pesto recipe 8(

  2. It was pretty good! I think the trick is that you have to salt and pepper it to your liking. My consistency was a little bit chunky, but it tasted really good.