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Italian Chicken Pizza

Posted Nov 14 2011 7:12am

Hey.  Hi there. It’s Monday.  One word comes to mind.

Yuck.

I always have a terrible case of the Mondays.  My morning usually starts with my alarm going off and me cursing the fact that we are at the beginning of another week and I am about to get out of my warm bed to go to that horrible place that I call work.  I usually have Wednesdays off, which gives me a much-needed mid-week break, but I don’t for the next two weeks.  That fact makes this Monday so much more horrible than the others.

Like I said. Yuck.

So…now that I have probably made you totally depressed with my awful start to this post, let’s move onto something that is going to make this Monday allllll better.

PIZZA!

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See?  Monday is better already!

I’m not really sure where this pizza came from, but I do know that when it popped in my head yesterday afternoon I literally jumped off the couch and headed to the kitchen to make it.

Honestly.  I was lounging, watching some football, and just stood up abruptly.  Lee asked me where I was going and I answered like any crazy sane person would and said, “To the kitchen.  I’m making pizza.”  I’m pretty sure he responded with something like, “Okaaaay.  Pizza?”

I guess I just got the urge to make some pizza crust?  Normal, right?

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I totally love the crust to this pizza.  It’s the no-fail recipe that I always turn to.  My grandma uses it and, once she passed it to me, I was hooked.  It’s so easy and quick and perfect for those times when you have to make a pizza like right.this.second.

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Italian Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:

Crust:

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast

1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup lukewarm water

Toppings:

2 skinless,boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

3/4 cup pizza sauce or any tomato sauce (I used half pizza and half veggie loaded spaghetti sauce)

12 ounces Italian blend shredded cheese

2-3 medium Roma tomatoes, sliced

1 medium green pepper, chopped

oregano and black pepper for seasoning

Directions:

Crust:

Preheat oven to 400.

Lightly grease a 12×9 baking sheet or a round pizza pan.

Sift flour and salt into a large bowl (I usually just add the flour and salt to the bowl and sift with a fork). Stir in the yeast. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add in olive oil and lukewarm water. Mix until a soft dough forms.

Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface (be sure to also lightly flour your hands) and knead gently for 5 minutes. Roll out dough with a rolling pin and press onto prepared baking sheet. If you don’t want to roll the dough with a pin, just pressing it onto the baking sheet works as well. Just be sure to press the dough outward from the center and be careful not to make it too thin. It should be no thinner than a 1/4 of an inch. Cover and allow the dough to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

(Prepare chicken…instructions below)

Bake dough for 5-7 minutes and remove from oven.

Toppings:

While pizza crust is rising, prepare chicken breasts.  Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.  Add chicken and cook in oil and garlic until no longer pink, about 5-6 minutes.  Remove from heat.

When dough is done baking for the first 5-7 minutes, spread sauce on top of crust, sprinkle with most of the cheese, and layer the chicken, tomatoes, and green peppers.  Sprinkle with oregano and black pepper to taste.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Return to oven and bake an additional 12-15 minutes, until crust is golden and cheese is melted.

Slice pizza and serve.

Yield: 8 slices

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Now Go!  Make this right.this.second!  I promise your Monday will be all kinds of better!

P.S. This Monday is going to get even better…check back later to help me celebrate the birthday of someone who is absolutely amazing!

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