I can count on Mother Cookie for all kinds of good advice, including the suggestion to make this “Chicken” Parm Pizza.
I thought she was just being silly at first; everyone likes to make meat jokes to the vegetarian. But then she said, “No, you could use that meatless stuff you eat,” and that’s when the lightbulb came on for me. You see, sometimes I’m a Smart Cookie, but other times, I need Mother Cookie’s guidance.
I love all things eggplant parm-related, but I’ll admit there was a time when I ate meat and LOVED chicken parm. For whatever reason, it had yet to dawn on me that I could still enjoy chicken parm with the alternatives I’ve since discovered. Thank goodness Mother Cookie reminded me.
The good news about this pizza for you meat-lovers is that it’ll easily work just as well with real chicken, but I do encourage you to try it my way too. My boyfriend marveled over it. Plus, wow, was it filling! When you pile that much protein on top of pizza, you get some seriously hearty slices. And you know I’m never short on the cheese. I’ve got two kinds here that make for a sea of melty bliss.
The real masterpiece here is the crust. I always use this recipe for pizzas because it’s perfect every time, and it only needs about an hour to rise. Most dough takes all day. The finished product is crisp like a cracker on the bottom, but tender in between. It manages to hold up to all that sauce and cheese without getting soggy.
The only downside was not getting to share a slice with Mother Cookie. I’ll have to save this recipe for the next time she’s in town.
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- If you’d like to use a jarred sauce instead, look for something with a short, simple ingredient list on the label.
- The reason we preheat the pizza stone with the oven is to keep the stone from cracking if you were to put it in when the oven was already hot.
- You can get the fresh mozzarella cheese in specialty cheese section of your grocery store, near the deli.
- We start by cooking the pizza on the bottom rack to get the crust crisp, then we move it to the top rack to melt the cheese and make it golden.
“Chicken” Parm Pizza
By The Smart Cookie Cook
For the crust
Crust recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma
- 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 3/4 cup warm water (about 105°F)
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 cup + 3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
For the sauce
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 14 0z. San Marzano tomatoes & their juices (1/2 a can)
- 6-oz. tomato paste (1/2 a can)
- 1/2 tbsp. fresh finely chopped basil
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. granulated sugar
For the toppings
- 6 Morningstar Farms Chik’n Patties
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 16 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 3/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast, sugar and warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the dough blade, combine the cake flour, all-purpose flour and salt and pulse 3 or 4 times.
- Whisk 1 tbsp. of the olive oil into the yeast mixture. With the motor running, slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding more. Pulse the machine 10 to 15 times to knead the dough. The dough should clean the insides of the bowl but will be slightly sticky.
- Coat the inside of a large bowl with the remaining 1 tbsp. oil. Dust your hands with flour and remove the dough from the food processor. Form the dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Meanwhile, bring olive oil to medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onions and saute for two minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more. Stir in the tomatoes and tomato paste. Use an immersion blender to smooth out to your desired consistency. Stir in all remaining ingredients and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place 3 chicken patties on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 1 minute. Repeat with the other 3 patties.
- Bring oil to medium heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken patties and cook on each side until golden. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Chop into pieces and set aside.
- Once dough has risen, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Roll dough out to desired thickness. I recommend keeping it very thin. Place on heated stone on the center rack and blind-bake for 7 minutes then remove from oven.
- Spread the sauce over the pizza crust in an even layer. Top with the cheese and return to oven on the bottom rack for 10 minutes. Add the chicken and basil and return to oven for another 5 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Slice and enjoy.