Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roasted Garlic with Chicken and Pesto Pizza

I've recently discovered that my local grocery store (Harris Teeter) happens to have the absolute best Basil Pesto Sauce!

Ever since I first tasted it I was hooked and have been searching for ways to try to incorporate it into a meal.  Putting the sauce into a pasta dish of some sort was my original plan, but then I happened to come across this recipe, for pizza, that happened to use a pesto sauce for a base.  I immediately became excited and went out to purchase the other ingredients I would need, (which honestly wasn't much) and then I set to work.

The pizza itself did not take very long to throw together and the end result was even better than I'd hoped for!

Roasted Garlic with Chicken and Pesto Pizza

1 pizza crust (store bought or homemade, I didn’t have time for homemade, so I used Boboli 12” Whole Wheat Thin Pizza Crust)
¾ - ½ cup prepared pesto sauce
1 bulb of garlic
1 tsp. olive oil
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked (use some olive oil when cooking) and shredded
Mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese

To roast the garlic:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Gently peel off the outer shell of the garlic bulb, leaving the skin directly around the individual cloves intact.  Now, using a sharp knife, cut about ½ an inch off the top of the garlic bulb, exposing the inside of the cloves. 

Drizzle the top of the exposed cloves with a little olive oil and then wrap the garlic bulb in aluminum foil. 

Once ready, place onto a baking sheet and let the garlic cook for around 35-40 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or so before trying to unwrap the garlic bulb.  Next, using a small bowl, gently squeeze the individual cloves from their skin and mash together with a fork or a spoon. 

This should form a paste like substance. Set aside.

For the pizza:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  (If using a pizza stone, preheat this along with the oven)

Using a knife or the back of a spoon, spread the roasted garlic paste over the pizza crust (please feel free to spread on as much or as little as you like; I seem to enjoy the garlicky taste so I put on the whole bowl).  Next, evenly spread around the prepared pesto sauce. 

Top the sauce with the shredded chicken pieces (I find the chicken easiest to spread around if you use your hands). 

After that, add on the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses (once again, you can add on as much or as little as you like). 

If using a regular pizza pan, place in the oven and bake for 8-12 minutes.  If using a pizza stone, place the crust on parchment paper and then transfer it to the stone.  I always like to turn the oven onto broil for the last minute or so of cooking in order to give the cheese that nice golden brown tint (If you do this though, keep a careful eye on the pizza because it can burn quickly). 

No matter how great the pizza smells when it's done, wait a few minutes before cutting!  Enjoy!

Source: Sugar Cooking


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