It has definitely been no secret on this blog that the hubby likes pizza, but since I've been apart from him for school, it hasn't really been something that's been on my menu. Not only would a whole pizza take me a week of suppers to eat on my own, but I'm also apart from my breadmaker and a little scared to try rising the dough on its own in a bowl.
Enter Trader Joe's prepared pizza dough. Right around their grand opening I scored some whole wheat pizza dough from TJ's for less than a dollar! Not too bad! While I'd like to get around to making my own again once I make it home, this one would definitely be a great substitute for those emergency pizza cravings. My husband has also been using it to make pizza on his own, and he says that the garlic one is great.
This pizza is one that I crafted after finding the dough one night. I've been on a pesto kick lately, and it sounded like it would make for a good base to a pizza recipe. I added chicken, sliced tomatoes, and Mozzarella cheese to this one, but next time, I think I want to add chopped artichokes to it as well. The pesto idea was definitely a hit. We'll be recreating this one more than once.
The only complaint I have is the baking temperature. The hubby and I have found that the dough packages here in Nebraska differ in temperature from those in AZ. Ours say to bake it at 350 degrees while his say 450. This is somewhat of a debate as the hubby thinks I just read the package wrong, but I am sure that it said to bake at 350 degrees. 350 is definitely not hot enough to fully cook the crust in the middle, so I say go with your normal pizza method. We like to roll the dough out on parchment while preheating a stone in the oven at 450. Placing the dough helps cook the dough from the bottom up so that you don't end up with a soggy middle in your pizza. My other home pizza tip is that if you like your cheese a little browned just switch the oven to broil for the last minute or so of baking. Enjoy!
Chicken Pesto Pizza
The Cookin' Chemist Original
1 pkg. prepared pizza dough or 1 recipe of homemade dough
1/4 - 1/3 c. pesto
2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded
1-1/2 c. Mozzarella cheese
2 roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
artichoke hearts, chopped (optional)
other vegetables (optional)
Place a stone pizza pan or stoneware pan in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees.
On parchment paper, roll or stretch out the pizza dough to desired thickness. Spread with pesto and top with chicken, tomatoes, artichokes, and other vegetables if desired. Cover with Mozzarella cheese. Remove the pan from the oven and place the pizza (while still on the parchment paper) on the hot stone. Alternatively, you can use a pizza peel if you have one. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until the crust starts to turn brown. If you want to brown the cheese, switch the oven to broil and let it cook for no more than 1-2 minutes. Slice and enjoy!