Pie of the Week #18
It seems like every day the past week and a half has found us on the road. That makes it hard to be creative in the kitchen! Even if we’re home for most of our meals, just driving all over the place gets exhausting and drains creativity. But, at least I came up with a good Pie of the Week: Chicken Parmesan Pizza!
I’m not quite sure what inspired me into the world of Chicken Parmesan. It’s not a dish I make often. It’s not something I ever particularly crave. I enjoy it from time to time. But it’s not something particularly inspiring. But for some reason, it just seemed like the right thing this week. We also had some gigantic chicken breasts in the freezer that needed to be eaten. So I thawed a couple, and began to ponder what Chicken Parmesan would best fit on a pizza.
Ultimately, I decided it would be best to deconstruct it a bit. Rather than make chicken parm, then fit it on top of a pizza, I decided to split the components up, to give the overall flavor profile of chicken parm, but in a form that would work better.
I decided to make a pretty basic chicken, that I could use for other purposes. One of the giant chicken breasts was clearly enough for two chicken parm pizzas, but I had thawed two. So, I sliced and rolled it thin, and salted and peppered it. I let that dry brine for about an hour, then pan-seared it in a bit of olive oil. I cut it into chunks about 2 1/2 inches long by an inch wide.
Meanwhile, I made a bread crumb topping, similar to what one would use for traditional fried Chicken Parmesan. I had about 1/3 of a loaf of Italian Semolina bread, which I whirred in the food processor. Note: our fairly new and PTSD-suffering pup Moose is terrified of the food processor! I then grated a bunch of parmesan into the bread crumbs, and added a couple of teaspoons of dried basil and a few grinds of pepper.
I used my usual Quasi-Neapolatain pizza crust. I topped it with shredded mozzarella first, rather than sauce. I then arranged the chicken pieces on top of the cheese. I spooned a bit of my usual pizza sauce on top of the chicken pieces, before sprinkling the bread crumb mixture over the top of everything.
I baked it in the Roccbox as usual, though with the heavy, large bits of chicken on top, I had to use the turning peel to “dome” the pizza quite a bit so the toppings would heat through and the bread crumbs crisp up, without burning the crust. That made the total bake time about 3 1/2 minutes – I think the longest pizza bake yet!
The Chicken Parmesan Pizza turned out wonderfully! Inspired, really. It works a lot better as a pizza than chicken parm ever was as a stand-alone dish. This one will probably need to make not-infrequent returns to the pizza lineup!