Garlic Herb Chicken and Vegetable Pizza: A Toppings and Crust Success

The crust and toppings were the highlights of this Saturday night pie.

Tonight’s pizza while far from perfect had some memorable highlights. I know the pizza traditionalists always warn not to overdo the toppings, but I think I found a complimenting combination of veggies and meat even if it went above the standard three or less count.  The real reason I’d call this pizza a success was the crust.  It was airy, crispy, golden and had a sweet tanginess to it.

Herbed Chicken and Vegetables

garlic-chicken-pizza

The herbed chicken made this pizza a meal in itself.

The toppings of this particular pie made it a meal in itself. I started with our still somewhat frozen homemade sauce.  The carrots in the sauce gave it an orangy tone and and sweetness that fit well with the rest of the gang! Next was some small pieces of shaved Romano cheese, not too finely chopped onion and garlic and a layer of thinly sliced mushrooms.  After a moderate sprinkling of mozzarella, I added some frozen broccoli florets, more mushrooms and the herbed chicken.  The chicken, pan-fried in olive oil with fresh ground pepper, basil, oregano, rosemary and chilli flakes,  boasted a powerful flavor and made this pizza a filling Saturday night dinner.

A Tangy and Airy Crust

The crust had plenty of air pockets giving it a chewy texture to compliment its tangy, aged flavor.

The real takeaway of this pizza was its chewy, sweet crust. It had plenty of oven spring and attractive air pockets. The exterior had a golden tone and was crispy enough, while the crumb was soft and savory. The crust surprised me because I used the same dough last week and while it was okay, it was not quite the same. I speculate that the time it spent in the freezer, and then the two days defrosting in the fridge, and the final 2 hours left on the counter gave it time to develop some real flavor and moisture. I also put more olive oil than usual in the bag I froze it with which may have led to its softer crumb.  I put more olive oil on the bottom of the pizza pan and around the edges of the crust too! The one downside to this pizza was that its center had a little sogginess.  You may think it was from the heavy toppings, but it was probably from letting the dough get too thin.  There were translucent parts when I laid the dough onto the pan.  In my usual quest to go super thin, and make the pizza a little larger, I probably sacrificed some of its integrity. Still the toppings complimented each other well and the aged dough full of olive oil made the crust an absolute pleasure to eat.

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