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Monday, May 23, 2011

Saturday Night Pizza - BBQ Chicken and Mushroom with Arugula

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of our move to this house.  I can't believe it!  It's certainly been quite a year.  While there are advantages (free reign to decorate how I want, plenty of space, our own yard and wonderful porch) and disadvantages (replacing the water heater, the prospect of paying a mortgage for the next 30 years, the mysterious scratching noise in the attic) to owning a home in the suburbs as opposed to renting an apartment in the city, one of the things that has significantly changed are our weekend activities.  Back in the day, we would go out to eat at one of the many fantastic restaurants a few steps from our apartment.  Now, although the suburbs do have some good dining out options, we usually find ourselves cooking at home.

If you've been reading for a while, you know that homemade pizza is one of our favorite weekend dinners.  It's great to cook together - even when one of the cooks is kind of bossy like me.

As usual, we went with the tried and true Whole Wheat Pizza Dough.  Step by step directions here.  I start the dough in the morning, it really only takes a few hours to come together.  It can also be made a day in advance, just refrigerate and bring to room temperature before rolling.  We make two thin crust pizzas, which results in a lot of leftovers.  I love leftover pizza, but if you are just cooking for two people who don't want to eat pizza for the next three meals, you can put half the dough in the freezer and you'll be ready for next time!  Alternatively, you can find fresh pizza dough at most markets now, check in the prepared food section near those sandwiches no one buys.

I confess I usually shy away from mushrooms. I think it's because of bad experiences with slimy button mushrooms that have been overcooked.  In reality, mushrooms are great, and I'm so glad I tried this pizza because it was delicious!  The combination of the earthy mushrooms, salty feta, creamy mozzarella, and spicy arugula was a winner.

Magic Mushroom Pizza
adapted from Shape Magazine

3 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced (I used three Portabellas)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 garlic clove minced (I omitted because I'm out of garlic)
pinch dried red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
salt and pepper
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled feta
3 cups arugula
pizza dough

Preheat pizza stone in oven to 400 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine the mushrooms, parsley, garlic, red pepper, rosemary, salt and pepper.  Drizzle with a little olive oil and vinegar.  Allow to marinate while you roll dough.
Spread mushroom mixture over prepared dough, sprinkle with mozzarella and feta cheese.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the crust are golden brown and slightly crispy.
Toss arugula with oil and vinegar (you can use the same bowl you mixed the mushrooms in).
Serve pizza topped with arugula.




Barbecue Chicken Pizza

1 pound chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into small pieces
canola oil
1/2-1 cup barbecue sauce (I used Stubb's)
3 slices bacon, cooked
1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2-3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (we like our cheese, so you can use your judgement here)
pizza dough

In a frying pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Saute chicken until fully cooked.  You can also poach the chicken in boiling water, but I don't like the way that looks.  Toss cooked chicken in barbecue sauce and allow to marinate for a few minutes.
Top the pizza crust with chicken, remaining sauce (or tons of sauce if Jon is cooking - I take no responsibility for this), sliced onion and crumbled bacon.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly before slicing, barbecue sauce gets hot!

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