White ‘Za

12PizzaBakedParsleybfLOYeh, I know it doesn’t look all that white – more red and green and golden crispitty brown with”za! mebbe a bit of beige thrown in for good measure – but it is all kinds of good: pizza dough topped with roasted chicken, Alfredo Sauce, sun-dried tomato pesto, feta cheese, and some fresh tomatoes and parsley to top it all off – YUM!

You can make this quickly with a store bought pizza crust and a jar of sauce.

Me? I chose to go a different way…

‘Za Dough (thanks to Alex Guarnaschelli):
•2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
•1-1/2 cup warm (about 110º) water
•3-1/2 cups flour, plus additional for rolling dough
•2 tsp kosher salt – I used coarse sea salt
•1/2 tsp ground white pepper – I used black
•1 scant tbsp honey
SundriedPestoMadebfLO•1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
(thanks to Giada Di Laurentiis):
•1 (8.5-ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil
•2 garlic cloves
•Salt and freshly ground black pepper
•1 cup (packed) fresh basil leaves
•1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

05AddCheeseSeasoningbfLOCrème Fraîche Alfredo Sauce:
•1 pint crème fraîche – I made my own
•1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
•1-1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
•Freshly cracked black pepper
•1/2 tsp good hot sauce (I used Earl’s)
•Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

05DoughFirstBakebfLOFor the ‘Za (thanks to allrecipes.com):
•2 tbsp butter, melted
•1 tbsp olive oil
•3 tbsp minced garlic
•2 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
•1 tsp dried basil
•1 tsp dried oregano
•1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
•1 cup Alfredo sauce
•2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast meat
– I used roasted thighs (see below)
•1 (12 inch) pre-baked pizza crust
•1 medium tomato, sliced
•1 (4 ounce) package feta cheese

So, you can see where this is becoming a bit of a train wreck with pestos and dough and Alfredo freakin’ sauces and stuff, but it really is a fine ‘Za, and well worth the time.

02ChickenBakedbfLOErmmm, or, you can just buy the sauce in jars, the dough in a package, and the chicken from the deli and skip below to the final assembly, either way works. Back to da chicken:

Roasted Chicken Thighs:
•1 pkg boneless, skinless thighs
•Extra virgin olive oil
•Dried parsley
•Celery seed
•Garlic Powder
03ChickenShreddedbfLO•Italian Seasoned Salt
•Tellicherry Pepper

And… since we’re here – let’s start with the chicken:

Heat the oven to 375º.

Place the chicken in a baking pan and season as desired.

04AddPepperEtcbfLOSprinkle with a bit of olive oil, pop into the oven and bake, covered, for 45 minutes to one hour, until the chicken is cooked through.

Remove from the oven, shred, and set aside to cool.

Now for the dough:

Alex did hers by hand; I rely on my trusty Cuisinart stand mixer with the bread hook.

06DoughKneadedbfLOSprinkle the yeast over the warm water in the mixer bowl and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes.

Using a wire sieve or a sifter, add half of the flour to the yeast and water and blend on low until smooth.

Stir in the salt, pepper, and honey; then sift in the remaining flour on low.

Set the mixer to medium and knead until well blended and smooth – about 5 minutes.

BasilGarlicbfLOTurn the dough out into a large bowl lightly coated with the olive oil – flipping the dough to coat all sides – then cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in volume, about 90 minutes.

Now’s a good time to get going on those sauces:

Combine the jar of tomatoes (with their oil), the garlic, pepper, and fresh basil leaves in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the metal blade.

06CFAlfredoDonebfLOProcess until the tomatoes are well chopped, then turn into a bowl and stir in the cheese.

Presto – It’s Pesto! Sorry… I had to do it.

The Alfredo is a bit more involved, but really not all that difficult to put together.

Melt the stick of butter in a pot on top of the stove over medium heat, then whisk in the crème fraîche.

05DoughbfLOWhisk in the cheese and the seasonings, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

All-righty then! Let’s make us a ‘Za!

Roll out the dough on a corn meal dusted board and transfer to a pizza stone or pan – we just got a new cast iron pan that works a treat!

08AddSaucesbfLOLet the dough rest for about 15 minutes, then pop into a preheated 500º oven for 8 minutes. Remove the dough from the oven and brush lightly with olive oil (this will help to keep the sauce from making the crust soggy).

Stir together the butter, olive oil, garlic, pesto, Alfredo sauce, basil, oregano, and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl.

Arrange the chicken over the pizza crust, then top with the Alfredo-Pesto sauce mixture – I added a bit more of the crème fraîche Alfredo sauce as well.

13PizzaSlicesbfLOTop with the sliced fresh tomato and the feta cheese, then pop it all back into the oven for about 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with fresh minced parsley, cut into wedges (pie-cut, as I have to specify when ordering ‘Za out), and serve.

Nice ‘Za!

And well worth the time and effort involved.

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