I totally stuck it to The Man the other day by making roasted garlic chicken pizza.
I know that making pizza sounds fairly inconsequential, and not an action that could be termed as ‘sticking it’ to anyone. But the fact is, I achieved pizza satiation—and you know how ultimately satisfying pizza satiation is‚ it’s almost as good as sushi satiation—without falling back on any of the processed convenience food products that the agricultural-industrial complex tells me I need. And it was easy.
Okay, full disclosure, my wife made the pizza. But she said it was easy. I just asked her, right now.
Pizza is awesome because it has become fully American. Pizza was an immigrant, and the country embraced it and challenged it and encouraged it, until it became not just an entirely American dish but an entire extended family of American dishes. New York style. Chicago deep dish. Weirdly satisfying St. Louis style. Everywhere pizza went, it changed into something new and unique and beautiful. Even something so wonderful as roasted garlic chicken pizza.
That’s the kind of thing that happens when immigrants come into our country…
Another cool thing about pizza that has nothing to do with politics is that it can be an entire balanced meal on a slice. If your crust is good shit, and not just a factory-produced sugar/flour/cardboard hybrid, and if you include plenty of vegetables, pizza can absolutely be part of a balanced diet.
A WORD ON HEALTHY PIZZA CRUST
I’ve made entirely whole wheat pizza crusts before. I liked them, but my wife was not a fan. She thought it was too tough and dense.
I am extremely thankful for her input, because she keeps me from going to far off the rails. Without her tempering influence, my zest for the novel and extreme edge of sustainability would probably trump America’s stomach for it; I might encourage folks to try a grass clipping salad (lawns are so wasteful!) or eat roadkill curries. (Intense spice can redeem the rankest raccoon!)
So I’ve concluded that America might not be ready for completely 100% whole wheat pizza dough. I have ordered a flour sifter that will hopefully allow me to produce healthier flour that still acts similar to standard white flour.
In the meantime, I am still confident that my bread made with white flour is still about a thousand times better than a store-bought crust. I use Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread recipe; it’s a simple dough with just flour, water, salt, and yeast. It includes a long overnight rise that encourages the yeast to break down the more problematic carbs and produce more vitamins, especially vitamin B.
The Jim Lahey recipe is fantastic because it’s really, really easy, and because it’s versatile: you can make a country loaf, or a sandwich loaf, or pizza, or focaccia, or pita, or any number of other breads from this one simple recipe. If you don’t get a kitchen scale for anything else, get it for no-knead bread.
345 grams flour. 12 grams salt. 5 grams yeast. 430 grams water. Mix, cover, let it sit overnight. Dust with flour, shape, let rise another hour or two, then bake in a 500° oven until golden.
For pizza, instead of dusting with flour I pour in some oil to keep it from sticking, then just spread it out onto a sheet pan. Roasted garlic and chicken pizza is a total square. Or rectangle.
ROASTED GARLIC CHICKEN PIZZA
So we had leftover chicken from the easiest roast chicken recipe ever. We had spinach. Juliana had string cheese left over from a work thing. We had garlic, because you don’t ever want to not have garlic, that would just be bad. With all of these elements, we knew we must create a beautimous roasted garlic chicken pizza.
Pizza is beautiful because once you have the dough, you just put whatever you want on it. A recipe isn’t necessary.
So see you later!
Okay, whatever. Chill out.
There’s a lot of ways to roast garlic. I do it stovetop so I’m not heating up the whole oven. Peel some cloves, put them in a bit of water and oil in a small covered pan on low heat, and let it go for half an hour or so.
Then we (meaning my wife) mashed up the garlic with some oil, spread it over the pizza, and followed up with the cheese and chicken and spinach.
Because we’re classy, she then folded the remaining string cheese into the edge of the crust to make that most American of pizzas, the stuffed crust.
500° until awesome.
Join us in celebrating our country of immigrants and sticking it to The Man! Create your own righteous ass-kicking pizza and share photos of your own culinary rebellion!
Seriously, can we post photos in the comments? That would be awesome. I’d love to see what y’all come up with.
- 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 1/2 tsp yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 6 cloves garlic
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
- 1 1/2 cup cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
- 1 cup raw spinach, ripped
- 1 ball mozzarella, sliced
- Mix the flour, yeast, and salt until well combined. Add the water and mix until a dough forms. Cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature overnight.
- The next day, pour the vegetable oil onto the dough and form into a ball. Press the dough into a baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel, and let rise one or two hours.
- In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil, then add the vegetable oil and garlic. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 500°.
- Once the garlic is tender, press it with a fork into the oil. Spread the oil/garlic mixture onto the pizza dough.
- Distribute the mozzarella over the pizza dough, followed by the chicken and spinach.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
- DOUGH RISES OVERNIGHT!