Homemade pizza is a pretty regular meal in our house. Chances are good that we have a ball or two of pizza dough in the freezer and a can of tomatoes in the pantry. From there, we add whatever we’ve got on hand – pepperoni or salami, some herbs, tomatoes, peppers, etc. Even though I plan out each week’s menu, it’s nice to have something to fall back on for those nights that what I planned to cook isn’t doing it for me. This pizza, on the other hand, was placed on the menu with purpose. I’ve been eager to make it for a while, and after eating it, I’m ready to make it again.
This was Clara’s first time eating pizza, and she went absolutely crazy for this one. This pizza starts out with an incredibly tasty white sauce and is topped with mozzarella, shredded chicken, red onion and lots of fresh herbs. There’s extra white sauce for dipping, if you’re into that (and if you’re not, this sauce may change your mind). Light isn’t something I normally think of when it comes to pizza, but this one certainly has that feeling. Sure there’s a rich white sauce, but the pizza itself isn’t at all greasy or overly cheesy. It’s a good summer pizza because we can take advantage of all the fresh herbs growing in our garden. It’s fun to change things up a bit from the traditional tomato sauce based pizza, but this combination isn’t so crazy that people who lean toward more traditional pizzas won’t enjoy it. And even though there are countless pizza topping and sauce combinations, it will be a while before we try another because this one is just that good.
- YIELD: 1 12-inch pizza
1 pound pizza dough
1-2 teaspoons cornmeal, for sprinkling
Olive oil, for brushing the crust
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup milk (low-fat or skim is fine)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken breast
⅔ cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
⅓ cup thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Heat the oven and pizza stone to 500 degrees, at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Meanwhile, sprinkle a large piece of parchment with the cornmeal. Stretch and roll the dough into a 12-14 inch circle. Brush the outer edge with olive oil.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the flour and pepper and cook, whisking constantly, until the flour turns light golden brown, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer, stirring frequently. Once the mixture thickens, remove from heat and add the Parmesan. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
Spread about ½ cup of the sauce over the pizza dough, making sure to leave the outer edge uncovered. Scatter the chicken and onions evenly over the sauce, then top with the mozzarella.
Use the parchment to transfer the pizza to the oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese has is melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then sprinkle on the fresh herbs. Slice and serve with remaining sauce.