Day 131 : Mexican Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

Today was just one of those days that I did not feel like cooking… at all!  Let alone to first make the chicken, and THEN the pizza, but I am so glad I mustered up the energy to get in there and just do it!  This is a great pizza, and goes right up there with my favorite pizzas.  I now have one for most cuisine types!

The recipe I followed had steps to make your own crust, but even before today I knew I would be lazy and decided to just grab a pilsbury crust because I like how they turn out.  It called for mexican blend cheese, and most stores have a couple options.  I went with the pepperjack one this time and it was great for this.  As for the cooked chicken…. I decided to extend the mexican theme and added chipotle seasoning, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper to mine in generous portions before grilling it and then shredding it.  It had just the right amount of heat/flavor to really compliment the rest of the pizza ingredients.  The last change I made was to add a little bit of orange bell pepper in addition to the yellow because I had one that needed used and because I wanted to add more color.  I might even have added red if I had any on hand.

When doing the crust, if you want to cheat like me this is what I did….  I used the pilsbury classic crust.  First I smoosh it into a ball because I wanted a round shape (not rectangular as it comes) and then fairly generously flour a flat space to roll it out on.  You may also want to flour the rolling pin.  It takes a bit of time, and I get frustrated every time it tries to spring back, but keep at it and eventually it starts to stay rolled out.  Once you get that done sprinkle the cornmeal on yoru pizza pan (I use a pizza stone) and then lay the crust on top.  I even sometimes roll it out a tad more once I get it on there to really embed the cornmeal and because it tends to spring back a bit once on there.  Then just do as the recipe says and bake it for the initial 8-10 minutes before adding your toppings.

Mexican Chicken Pizza with Cornmeal Crust

Serves : 2-4                  Time to make : 30 minutes

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/2 cups Gold Medal all purpose flour
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 1/4 tsp. regular active dry yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  •  1 T. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal

(Or 1 tube of store bought pizza dough, or even a premade dough with directions as listed above)

  • additional cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 medium yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions :

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. In medium bowl, mix 3/4 cup of the flour, the sugar, yeast and salt.  Stir in warm water and oil.  Beat with electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat on high speed 1 minute.  Stir in the 1/3 cup cornmeal and remaining 3/4 cup flour to make a soft dough.
  2. On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.  Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Spray large cookie sheet with cooking spray; sprinkle with additional cornmeal. On cookie sheet, press dough into the 14×10 inch rectangle; prick with fork.  Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges just begin to turn brown.
  4. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the cheese blend.  Top with chicken, tomatoes, and bell pepper.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.  Bake 6-8 minutes longer or until cheese is melted and edges are golden brown.  Sprinkle with onions and cilantro.

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