Monday, August 19, 2013

Pesto Chicken Pizza with Caramelized Shallots

homemade pizza easy pizza chicken pizza
 If I were to list all of the amazing ingredients that top this pizza, the title would be a mile long.
I had some fresh basil and tomatoes from my garden and my mom-in-law gave me some fresh shallots from hers. 
With some other ingredients I had on hand in the refrigerator, I officially pronounced it pizza night!

pesto, pizza, shallots
So what do you do with a whole bushel of shallots? Why caramelize them, of course.


 Aren't they so pretty?
After I prepped them, I started them out on the stove top, sprinkled with some sugar...

caramelized shallots

Let them caramelize in the pan alittle bit...

 Before transferring to the oven to finish the process. And yes, believe it or not, the pan did come clean!

homemade pizza quick pizza easy pizza weeknight pizza

 The result was a soft, buttery, mildly sweet shallot. Perfect for topping a pizza!

Once I had my shallots out of the oven, roasted some garlic cloves, diced a grilled chicken breast, chopped a couple slices of cooked bacon, and sliced some fresh mozzarella, I was in business!

 As much as I love making my own pizza dough, it's just not always convenient. For this reason, I always have a prepared whole wheat pizza dough in the freezer.
Same goes for pesto y'all.
Please don't judge!

 Now, let's get cookin'!

pizza, pesto

Pesto Chicken Pizza with Caramelized Shallots

For the shallots:
1 pound fresh shallots
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Melt butter in a heavy bottomed skillet over med-high heat. 
Add shallots and toss to coat. Sprinkle with granulated sugar and toss again to evenly coat.
Cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, tossing occasionally until the shallots start to brown.
Add vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss to coat.
Place pan in preheated oven and roast for 15-25 minutes (depending on the size), or until tender.
Remove from oven and set aside.

For the roasted garlic:
6 whole, unpeeled garlic cloves

Place garlic cloves on a metal sheet pan.
Place in the same 400 degree preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and set aside until cloves are cool to the touch.
Squeeze the cloves into a small bowl.

For the Pizza:
16 oz prepared pizza dough, thawed 
1/2 cup prepared pesto
1 cup sliced caramelized shallots
6 cloves roasted garlic
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced
6 oz grilled chicken breast, sliced
2 slices cooked bacon, diced
1 cup fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 cup loosely packed basil, sliced thin

Place a half sheet pan in a cold oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Meanwhile, roll pizza dough into desired shape.
Once oven is preheated, remove pan and drizzle with 1 Tbsp olive oil. Immediately place dough on the pan, stretching the dough out to the edges of the pan.
Place pan in oven and cook for 5-7 minutes or until starting to become golden brown. You want a nice crisp crust to form on the bottom. You will see some bubbles rising on top of the dough. This is a good thing, pretty and rustic looking!
Remove dough from oven and place pan on a cooling rack.
Spread pesto over the top of the dough then sprinkle the remaining toppings in whatever order you'd like, reserving basil.
Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown.
Remove from oven and sprinkle on basil.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before slicing.

pizza, pesto
The pizza you see in my photos is actually half of a pizza. I        made an exact replica with the other half and delivered it to a friend who just had a baby.

You will have leftover shallots. I highly recommend scrambling them into eggs with some goat cheese. Mmm!

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