Saturday, 21 February 2009

Chicken, Chargrilled Vegetable, & Avocado Pizza

I'm going to take a leaf out of wonderful Justine Larbalestier's Blog, which I have been enjoying immensely, and write not just about writing. As per my original post back in 2006 this blog is more for me than anyone else. So if you come here to see how I am doing with writing and don't care about other interests that's fine. I have tagged the posts appropriately so you can avoid what you don't want to see. Anyway, enough of that.

Chicken, Chargrilled Vegetable, & Avocado Pizza

We have a number of foods that are a staple part of our diet, and the pizza food group is one of them. I really like our Chicken, Chargrilled Vegetable, & Avocado Pizza as it has a great range of tastes all on the one base.
  • 400 grams of chicken thigh fillets (thigh fillets have a stronger taste than breast)
  • “Bazaar” Gourmet Pizza Base (available most Aussie supermarkets - we don't use any other base)
  • Tablespoon of Tomato Paste
  • Half tablespoon of sundried tomato pesto
  • 150 grams of chargrilled vegetable antipasto (Woolworths has a nice 400 gram jar if you don’t have a favourite)
  • One ripe avocado
  • Handful of button mushrooms
  • Kalamata olives (as many as you like to taste – ones that are already pitted remove some hassle too)
  • Bega So Extra Light Tasty Grated Cheese (we don't normally rate "light" cheese too highly, however this one isn't too bad)

Roughly cut the chicken thighs into large bite size pieces. I really enjoy a chunky style pizza, but you can cut smaller if you like. In a frying pan on a high heat along with a touch of olive oil, cook the thigh pieces until nice and brown on the outside but do ensure they are cooked through.

Lightly spray a pizza pan with oil and plonk the base on it. On the base put a big tablespoon of tomato paste and a smaller tablespoon of the pesto, swirl hims around with the spoon until the base is evenly covered with the paste mix. If the coverage is a bit on the thin side don't be afraid to put on a bit more tomato paste.

I like to throw a very, very small handful of cheese on the base at this point. Don't go crazy, just thinly sprinkle it around.

Put the cooked chicken onto the base getting a nice even coverage. Nobody likes a lopsided pizza.

Cut the antipasto into thick pieces and layer on and around the chicken.

Slice the olives into halves or quarters and sprinkle them about everything. Olives give a nice salty tang to a pizza which we really enjoy, but it is easy to go overboard with them. If you're unsure then start with less on this pizza and try more later if you are after a bigger kick.

Next thinly slice up that yummy avocado and lay evenly across the pizza. Take care not to nibble on too much of the avocado, you need to leave enough for the pizza!

Thinly slice the mushrooms and lay over everything.

"Now, where's the cheese?" If you weren't living in Australia back in the '80s you probably won't get the Peter Russell-Clarke reference, but that's OK. Cover the pizza in cheese but don't DROWN it. I come from a time when cheese on a pizza meant it was two inches thick and all that did was seal the top and not allow the flavours underneath to come out. Trust me on the cheese, less is more, and if it doesn't work out for you then can always try again next week.

Finally into a pre-heated oven for 18 minutes at 185c or 365f. Now once done I like to sit the pizza for a couple of minutes on a bench. This does two things: first it cools down slightly so you don't give yourself a nice blister on the inside of your mouth on the first mouthful, but the other reason is it gives everything time to settle and gel slightly so the toppings don't just slide off when you serve the pizza.


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