Remember being like 6 years old, and the number one question asked (besides ‘why are you picking your nose?’) was ‘what’s your favorite food?’? Without fail, my answer was always pizza…along with every. other. kid.
Now that I’m an adult (lol), I’ve been giving this question much more thought. I used to think that I said pizza because it was the most popular answer, however after some serious self-reflection, I’ve come to accept that pizza really always has been and always will be my very favorite food. It also happens to rank pretty high on my list of favorite foods to make, so it’s a win-win!
This specific pizza was dreamed up because of my obsession with shiitakes and Andrew’s love for fontina. Add in some chicken and bacon and you have yourself the most satisfying version of my favorite food.
Get your pizza stone (if you have one) and put it in the oven. Set the oven to 450 degrees.
If you want bacon on your pizza, go ahead and place your bacon in the cold oven on a baking sheet and set the timer for 20-22 minutes.
Now you’re going to start on the base of the pizza by sautéing the onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat. Add some salt and pepper.
Once the onions are beginning to soften, you’ll add in the mushrooms. I used sliced portobello tops that I diced in addition to sliced shiitakes, which I left as-is. You can use any kind you like, and if you can afford additional mushrooms, can I just say, I envy you. Since it’s the holiday season and calories don’t count until January, add in some butter. It is against my moral code to sauté mushrooms without butter, but you can certainly stick to olive oil. I would add a tad more with the mushrooms since they are such sponges. Season with some red pepper flakes.
Mix everything together and sauté for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms have reduced to about 1/3 of their original volume.
While the mushrooms are cooking, go ahead and prepare the chicken. All I did was place 2 small chicken breasts in a pot, cover with water, and place the pot over medium-high heat. When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 6 minutes. It will depend on how big the chicken is, so you may need more or less time. Remove the chicken from the water and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, you can shred the chicken by hand, like I did, or you can just use two forks, or dice it.
At this point the bacon should be done, and slightly cooled. Once cool enough to handle, go ahead and crumble the bacon. I then shredded my chicken by hand, but you can use two forks, or simply dice it.
Now that all the toppings are prepared, it’s time to work on the dough. Sometimes I will make the dough from scratch, but on this occasion I used pre-made whole wheat dough from the grocery store.
Get some flour on your work surface, and stretch the dough into a circle. It’s rare that I get the dough formed in an actual circle, so don’t worry if you have a ‘rustic’ shaped pizza. Press the dough to about 1 inch, and then use a floured rolling pin to get about 1/2 inch dough all around.
Now you’re ready to assemble. Get the pizza stone from the oven, and be careful, it’s super hot! If you don’t have a stone, just grab a baking sheet sprayed with a little oil.
Transfer your dough to the stone or baking sheet. I find the easiest way to do this is to roll it up on the rolling pin and then unroll on the stone.
It’s time for the toppings! Brush the outer edge with just a bit of oil to ensure you get a nice golden brown crust. Spread the chicken evenly on the crust, and then sprinkle the bacon next.
Then I distributed the mushroom heaven as well as I could across the dough. I topped it all off with the fontina and mozzarella, and just a teeny sprinkle of fresh rosemary, because, Christmas.
Get that bad boy in the oven for about 16 minutes, it’s ready when the crust is nice and brown. If you can stop yourself from digging in instantly and burning the roof of your mouth on a bed of cheese lava, I like to take this baby one step further.
I added a small mountain of arugula to the top of the pizza, and finished it all off with a drizzle of balsamic glaze. You can skip this step, but then how will you convince yourself that you’re having a salad?
Note: Don’t be like me – slice the pizza before you add the arugula, or you’ll end up with sad, smushed arugula leaves
Prep: 10 minutes Cook: 40 minutes Total: 50 minutes
Makes: 8 slices, or dinner for 2 extremely ravenous, pizza-loving adults
- Whole wheat pizza dough, store bought, or homemade (I like this recipe)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups mushrooms, I like portobello and shiitake
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 oz chicken breast, or two small breasts, optional
- 4 slices bacon, optional
- 1 1/2 cup shredded fontina cheese
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced finely
- 2 cups arugula, optional
- 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze, optional
Put a pizza stone in the oven and set to 450 degrees. Place bacon in the cold oven on a baking sheet and set the timer for 20-22 minutes.
Add sliced onions and garlic to olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add salt and pepper.
Once the onions are beginning to soften, about 4 minutes, add in the mushrooms and add in some butter (or a bit more olive oil). Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes. Mix everything together and sauté for 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms have reduced to about 1/3 of their original volume.
While the mushrooms are cooking, prepare the chicken. Place 2 small chicken breasts in a pot, cover with water, and place the pot over medium-high heat. When the water comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for about 6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the water and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, shred or dice the chicken.
At this point the bacon should be done, and slightly cooled. Crumble the bacon.
Flour on your work surface, and stretch the dough into a circle. Press the dough to about 1 inch thickness, and then use a floured rolling pin to get about 1/2 inch thickness all around.
Transfer your dough to the stone (or a baking sheet sprayed with oil). Brush the outer edge with just a bit of oil to ensure you get a nice golden brown crust. Spread the chicken evenly on the crust, and then sprinkle the bacon next. Distribute the mushroom mixture across the dough. Top it all off with fontina and mozzarella, and then the rosemary.
Bake for 16 minutes, it’s ready when the crust is nice and brown.
Slice the pizza, and then add arugula and balsamic glaze over the top of the pizza.