Deviating somewhat from the 17th century, last night found me in an adventurous mood.
I had to come up with something for dinner, but everything I thought of seemed unappealing. In the end, I feared that I’d be reduced to something like chicken nuggets or pizza rolls when it occurred to me that it’s been a long while since the Little Woman and I made pizza at home. Now, there’s a particular restaurant that makes a pizza the Little Woman loves, but I wasn’t interested in either the drive or the cost . . . homemade pizza won out.
I decided to make a chicken alfredo pizza. We’d had a genuine chicken alfredo pizza at some hole-in-the-wall joint years ago; it clearly won over the Little Woman. But it struck me as chicken with alfredo-like seasonings, and a lot of cheese – more style that substance, you might say. I was determined to come up with something better, but not being a chef or even trained in the culinary arts, I also knew that my product wasn’t going to be featured on Top Chef anytime soon.
What I did was simple:
- a tube of Pillsbury classic pizza crust (this is what I used; any pizza crust should work);
- a 13 oz. can of chunk chicken (or more, depending on how much chicken you want on your pie);
- a jar of Ragu Chicken Alfredo sauce (they make other white-cheese sauces that are just as tasty);
- a 16 oz. bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (again, more if you like a lot of cheese);
- a small amount of Parmesan cheese (we had some on hand; I used about a tablespoon); and,
- any other components you want (I like chopped green pepper, while the Little Woman loves mushrooms)
Okay, prepare the crust according to the instructions. In the case of the Pillsbury crust, that means preparing the pan, rolling out the crust, and baking it for about 8 minutes @ 425F. (Just follow the instructions on the tube!) Meanwhile, take a small pan and pour in a small amount of sauce – figure around 1/4 cup – and set to low heat. Open your chicken, drain it, then add to the sauce in the pan. (I find the chunks to be too large, so I chop them down further before adding to the sauce.) This is when I add the chopped pepper (but not the mushrooms). Let this mixture heat while the crust bakes – you’re not “cooking” the chicken or sauce, per se; just heating them up.
When the crust is ready, pour the remaining sauce on top and spread it around. Add the chicken/sauce from the pan, and do likewise. It’s at this point that I added the chopped mushrooms. Sprinkle the Parmesan and then cover it all with the mozzarella. Bake according to the crust instructions – again, with Pillsbury, that’s an additional 8 to 15 minutes at 425F.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but I loved it. The Little Woman was really impressed and has since expressed a desire (i.e., a dictate) that I make more again soon. Personally, I’m not sure, only because I’m very interested in fooling around with the recipe. I’d like to rely less on the cheese sauce and more on spices, but that means I’ll need to research things. It’s definitely a project for this winter when a nice, different pizza may be just the remedy for those long, dark days.