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grilling American, European, Italian
Chicken Caesar Pizza

Photo by: Christopher Hirsheimer
Comments: 0
 

Recipe

The pungent tanginess of a well-made Caesar salad is a restaurant staple. In this pizza, the grilled crust stands in for the croutons and the Parmigiano-Reggiano melts into the chicken for a more intense Caesar experience, one that Brutus would never betray.

Yield: Serves 2 to 4

Ingredients

  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast (about 12 ounces) or ½ cups shredded leftover Beer Can Chicken or any sliced cooked chicken breast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup uncooked grits or polenta, for rolling the dough
  • 1 ball prepared pizza dough, at room temperature
  • ½ cup Roasted Garlic Paste
  • 1¼ cups grated Fontina cheese
  • 1 heart of romaine, cut crosswise into ½-inch-wide ribbons
  • 2 tablespoons Caesar Salad Dressing or store-bought
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Directions

If you’re not using leftover chicken, preheat the grill per the Master Instructions for gas or charcoal (see Notes).

Brush the chicken breast with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on the cooking grate directly over the heat and grill until no longer pink in the middle, 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside and, when almost ready to use, cut into ¼-inch-thick strips.

Rollout and shape the dough, then grill the first side of the crust per the Master Instructions (see Notes). Use tongs to transfer it from the grill to a peel or rimless baking sheet. Flip the crust to reveal the grilled side.

Spread the entire surface with the garlic paste, then top with the chicken and sprinkle with the Fontina.

Finish grilling the pizza per the Master Instructions (see Notes).

Just before the pizza is done, toss the romaine with the dressing and 1 tablespoon of the Parmigiano in a medium bowl.

Remove the pizza from the grill and immediately top with dressed romaine. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmigiano and season with salt and pepper. Slice and serve immediately.

Notes

Adventure Club: Top the salad greens with anchovies (and if you are really, really adventurous, use white anchovies).

Drink This: A not-too-oaky California Chardonnay, like many of our favorites from Santa Barbara, will make this Caesar salivate.

Master Instructions: The Gas Grill Method

Preheat the grill by setting all the burners on high. After lighting, close the lid and leave on high for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat of all the burners to medium.

Meanwhile, sprinkle your work surface with the grits or polenta. Place the dough in the middle of the surface. You can either roll out the dough with a rolling pin, stretch it out with your hands, or press it out from the center against the work surface. Ideally, you want a 12-inch, organically shaped piece of dough-round, square, or rectangular-1/8 to 14 inch thick (err on the thinner side for thin-crust pizza and on the thicker side for thick-crust pizza). Drizzle or brush both sides generously with oil. Our recipes call for 2 tablespoons, but we tend to use more oil when making our own pizzas, which results in a thinner and crispier crust.

Pick up the dough by the two corners closest to you. In one motion, lay it down flat on the cooking grate from back to front (as you would set a tablecloth down on a table). Close the lid and grill for 3 minutes (no peeking!), then check the crust and, if necessary, continue grilling a few more minutes until the bottom is well marked and nicely browned.

Use tongs to transfer the crust from the grill to a peel or rimless baking sheet. Close the lid of the grill. Flip the crust to reveal the grilled side. Follow the specific recipe directions for adding any sauce, toppings, and/or cheese.

Switch the grill to indirect heat by turning off the center burner(s) if you have a three- or four-burner grill. For a two-burner grill, turn off one burner. Set the pizza back on the grate over indirect heat (the unlit section) and grill, with the lid down, until the bottom is well browned and the cheese is melted, 7 to 10 minutes. For two-burner grills, rotate the pizza halfway through the cooking time.

Remove from the grill, garnish, and season as directed. Slice and serve immediately.

Master Instructions: The Charcoal Grill Method

Build a fire by lighting 50 to 60 charcoal briquettes in either a chimney starter or in a pyramid-shaped mound on the bottom grate of your grill. Once the briquettes have become gray-ashed (20 to 30 minutes), move them all to one side of the grill.

Meanwhile, sprinkle your work surface with the grits or polenta. Place the dough in the middle of the surface. You can either roll out the dough with a rolling pin, stretch it out with your hands, or press it out from the center against the work surface. Ideally, you want a 12-inch by 6-inch, organically shaped piece of dough-a rectangle-1/8 to ¼ inch thick (err on the thinner side for thin-crust pizza and on the thicker side for thick-crust pizza). Drizzle or brush both sides generously with oil. Our recipes call for 2 tablespoons, but we tend to use more oil when making our own pizzas, which results in a thinner and crispier crust.

Pick up the dough by the two corners closest to you. In one motion, lay it down flat-over the side without briquettes-on the cooking grate from back to front (as you would set a tablecloth down on a table). Close the lid and grill for 3 minutes (no peeking!), then rotate the crust 180 degrees and continue grilling until the bottom is well marked and evenly browned, another 2 to 3 minutes.

Use tongs to transfer the crust from the grill to a peel or rimless baking sheet. Close the lid of the grill. Flip the crust to reveal the grilled side. Follow the specific recipe directions for adding any sauce, toppings, and/or cheese.

Set the pizza back on the grate over the side without briquettes and grill, with the lid down, for 4 to 5 minutes. Rotate the pizza 180 degrees and continue to grill with the lid down until the bottom is well browned and cheese is melted, another 4 to 5 minutes.

Remove from the grill, garnish, and season as directed. Slice and serve immediately.


© 2008 Elizabeth Karmel, Bob Blumer

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information is based on 4 servings, 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving, using a 9 oz prepared pizza dough and 12 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, but does not include Roasted Garlic Paste or Caesar Salad Dressing. For nutritional information on Roasted Garlic Paste or Caesar Salad Dressing, please follow the links above.

 

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

530kcal (26%)
223mg (22%)
5mg (8%)
167mcg RAE (6%)
403mg
40mg
35g
2g
95mg (32%)
9g (44%)
24g (37%)
1g
39g
865mg (36%)
1mg (5%)
 

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