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Chicken Vodka Pizza

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There isn't too much I miss about office life having exclusively been working from home for a year and half now, but one thing I do find myself wanting for every now and then is the catered lunch meeting. Lunch is a popular meeting time at my work and that hasn't ebbed during the pandemic, which means it's actually harder to get a meal in. When in the office though, the call to gather during lunch hours usually came with the promise of being fed, and, at least for me, that's an incentive I all in on. One of the most frequent lunch options provided is a pizza place called Emilio's, whose claim to fame is a chicken vodka pie that's loaded amply with sliced chicken breast and then dosed in a vodka sauce that's probably more cream than tomato. It's a hell of a slice, and it's also incredibly heavy and filling—I may have dozed off in a meeting or two after eating that pie. That specific pizza isn't one I've really seen many other places, and to satisfying a recent hankering for it, I made a version at home that had a much lighter touch, but was equally delicious.

There are many ways I lightened up the pie, the first being the choice of crust, which I went with a Neapolitan-style. Compared to a New York-style crust, the Neapolitan is thiner and airier, so it doesn't have as much heft to it. Those traits come from the high hydration and long fermentation that happens initially with an eight hour rise at room temperature.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

Once that is complete, the dough is divided into four, placed in a container, and set in the fridge to rise another two to four days. Beyond the gluten formation happening during that time, a lot of flavor also develops thanks to the fermentation process. This is what gives Neapolitan dough a bit of tanginess, making it more flavorful than a New York-style dough which doesn't go through the same long process.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

As if chicken, vodka sauce, and dough isn't heavy enough, that chicken is also breaded and fried. I really like that extra crunch from the breading, so decided to keep that aspect in my recipe. Chicken schnitzel is a go-to Friday night dinner for me, so it wasn't much extra effort to make a couple additional pieces one Friday evening to use for pizza the next day, but if breading and frying feel like more effort than it's worth to you, feel free to go with some simple grilled or sautéed chicken here—I don't think you're going to go wrong once it's assembled into a pizza.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

To make the chicken, I took one large breast and split it in half horizontally, then pounded those two halves into an even thickness roughly a quarter inch in height. I then dredged the breasts in flour followed by a coating in a beaten egg. Then I applied the breadcrumbs which I also patted down with my hands to ensure they adhered well.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

Then into canola oil heated to 375°F the breasts went. Thanks to the thinness of the chicken, it didn't take long to cook through at all. In just about all of the schnitzel making I've done, by the time the breadcrumbs have turned a medium to dark golden color, the meat is always done. I do like the flip the breasts somewhat frequently to ensure they're cooking evenly and not over browning—a cast iron pan doesn't heat evenly, so burning the breading is the schnitzel mishap I most commonly encounter.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

When the chicken was done frying, I transferred it to a paper towel lined tray to drain, and seasoned with salt and pepper at the same time. If you're making the pizza right away, you can cut the breasts into strips at this point, otherwise the chicken can be stored in the fridge until ready to use, which is what I did since I completed my frying the night before.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

Next I busted out a recipe for vodka sauce I developed in my early days of writing a Sauced column on Serious Eats. I haven't made this in awhile, so I wasn't sure how well it would hold up over time, but I was very pleased with the resulting sauce. The recipe starts with sautéing shallots until softened, then adding in tomato paste, crushed red pepper, and garlic and stirring until fragrant.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

Then a can of crushed tomatoes and the vodka are both added in and simmered until slightly thickened, about ten minutes. I like a smooth sauce, so I then opt to puree the sauce with an immersion blender, and following that is when the cream is stirred in and heated until just warmed through. Like the chicken, this can also be made in the days ahead and stored in the fridge to keep day-of work focused on the pizza baking if you like.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

On my pizza making day, the first thing I did was remove the dough from the fridge since it needed to come to room temperature to make it easily stretchable. Then I fired up my KettlePizza about an hour before baking time so all the coals would be lit and the stone would have had time to become throughly heated. Finally, I stretched out the dough, spread on a fairly generous layer of vodka sauce, and topped that with torn mozzerella and slices of the chicken.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

I forgot to take a photo of the pizza actually cooking, but you can imagine what that looked like. I didn't fire it until I had added some small logs to the basket behind the pizza stone and those were ignited. The heat produced but that wood is what boosts the core temperature past 900°F and cooks the crust incredibly quickly, giving it that ideal puff and char.

Chicken Vodka Pizza

It took only a couple minutes to fully cook the pie, and once done, I grated on some parmesan and sprinkled with torn pieces of basil to add the finishing touches. I think if you were to eat the inspiration pizzas from Emilio's and this one side-by-side, the similarities would be mostly in name only as this turned out to be a pretty different pizza experience. The vodka sauce provided a really nice change of pace from the standard tomato sauce, having a less acidic edge and more mellow character thanks to the addition of cream. It melded more than contrasted with the creamy mozzerella, which was good because I think that gave the chicken more of a presence given its more sparse application than in the inspiration. It certainly delivered a “vodka chicken pizza” experience that wasn't so heavy handed that you couldn't enjoy at least half a pie before starting to become full, which is definitely not what the Emilio's pizza is like—one slice and you're pretty much done for. While this satisfied a craving, it also left me a little more nostalgic for the lunch meetings that have gone absent—I should probably be careful saying that though, because I'm sure once they're back in full force, I'll just be wishing to be home all the time again.

Published on Thu Sep 16, 2021 by Joshua Bousel

Print Recipe

  • Yield 4 servings
  • Prep 1 Hour
  • Inactive 3 Days
  • Cook 3 Minutes
  • Total 3 Days 1 Hour 3 Minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Dough
  • 20 ounces bread flour, preferably Italian-style “OO” (about 4 cups)
  • .4 ounces kosher salt (about 4 teaspoons)
  • .3 ounces instant yeast (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 13 ounces water
  •  
  • For the Sauce
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup finely minced shallots (about 1 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  •  
  • For the Chicken
  • 1 large skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 cups canola or peanut oil
  • Kosher salt
  •  
  • For the Pizza
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • Fresh basil

Procedure

  1. To make the dough: Combine flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl and whisk until homogenous. Add water and incorporate into flour using hands until no dry flour remains on bottom of bowl. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and divide into four even balls. Place each in a covered quart-sized deli container or in a zipper-lock freezer bag. Place in refrigerator and allow to rise at least 2 more days, and up to 4.
  2. To make the sauce: Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Add in shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add in tomatoes and vodka and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove sauce from heat and puree with an immersion blender, or transfer sauce to the jar of a standard blender, and process until smooth. Stir in heavy cream and season with salt to taste. Transfer sauce to an airtight container and place in refrigerator until ready to use.
  4. To make the chicken: On a cutting board, pat chicken breast dry with a paper towel and split in half horizontally. Cover chicken halves with plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin or meat pounder, pound chicken pieces into an even thickness about 1/4-inch in height.
  5. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet to 375°F. Place flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Coat one chicken half in flour, shaking off any excess. Transfer chicken to egg wash and coat evenly, letting any excess run off. Transfer chicken to breadcrumbs and coat evenly, pressing lightly to ensure breadcrumbs adhere. Place chicken in oil and repeat with remaining chicken half.
  6. Fry chicken until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side, flipping as needed if breadcrumbs begin to darken too much. Transfer chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt to taste. Slice chicken into 1/2-inch wide strips.
  7. To make the pizza: 2 hours prior to cooking, remove dough from refrigerator, shape into balls, and allow to rest at room temperature, covered, for at least 2 hours before baking. Heat KettlePizza or pizza oven to 950°F. Alternatively, set a baking stone or Baking Steel on upper middle rack in oven and heat on highest setting possible for 45 minutes. Stretch one piece of dough into a 12-inch round. Spread on a layer of vodka sauce followed by mozzarella and 1/4 of the chicken pieces. Place pizza in pizza oven and cook for 2-3 minutes, rotating pizza for even cooking as necessary. Alternatively, place pizza on baking stone or steel in heated oven and cook until crust is baked through and cheese is melted, 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle on parmesan cheese and basil leaves to taste. Slice and serve immediately. Repeat with remaining dough and ingredients.

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By: meatmaster@meatwave.com (Joshua Bousel)
Title: Chicken Vodka Pizza
Sourced From: meatwave.com/recipes/crispy-chicken-pizza-with-vodka-cream-sauce-recipe
Published Date: 09/16/21

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The Best Pizza Dough Recipe

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Add 1-¼ teaspoon of active dry yeast to a large bowl then add ½ teaspoons of sugar because that's what causes the yeast to get excited and start working.

Add 1 cup of water to the bowl that has been warmed to about 110°F.

Note: Filtered or spring water will taste best if you have it.

Stir things around with a spoon or whisk to dissolve the yeast then set a timer for 10 minutes.

During this time the yeast will get to work and you'll after about 8 minutes you'll see bubbles start to rise to the surface letting you know that it's almost time to move on.

Stir in 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to the yeast mixture then add 2-¼ cups of the bread flour.

IMG 0031

I use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine everything and once it starts looking like dough, flour the work surface and your hands and it's time to start kneading it.

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I wear an Apple Watch and when I started kneading, it beeped and said, “it looks like you've started an elliptical workout, would you like me to record this workout” or something like that.

If you give me a choice to workout at the gym or workout by making dough, I'll choose the latter thank you very much!

Now, I must say that you can definitely do this in the mixer but I like to do it by hand. There's something very cathartic about kneading dough and I find it relaxing even if my watch does consider it a workout!

Here's how I knead and you may have your own method. You can also find dozens of methods online if you want to look it up.

I place the heels of my palms on the dough with my fingers facing slightly upwards and roll or push the dough forward about 10-12 inches. I then pick up the dough and move it back to the starting point and do that same maneuver again.

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I then turn the dough ¼ turn as I'm moving it back to the starting point and do that same roll/push maneuver 2 more times.

I do this over and over for about 8-10 minutes until the dough starts feeling very elastic.

I have found that the faster I knead, the less it sticks to my hands and the work surface.

Add flour if necessary to keep the dough from sticking too much but you don't want to add much.. just a small amount.

The dough should be just a tad sticky for it to turn into a good pizza.

Form the finished dough into a ball then lightly flour it on all sides.

Place it back into the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in a warm place such as on top of the fridge or in the garage so it can rise for 1 hour.

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During this time the dough will double in size.

After the hour is up, you will see that it has gotten at least twice as big as it was.

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Remove the plastic wrap and punch it down with your fist.

Remove the ball from the bowl and lay it on the work surface. Use a knife to separate it into 2 equal pieces.

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Place each of those 2 pieces into a large gallon-sized zip top bag and place into the fridge for at least 3 hours. I have had the best luck with dough that has been in the fridge for 12+ hours.

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It continues to rise while it's in the fridge and this is known as the “cool rise”.

Leave in the fridge until you are ready to start making your pizzas.

I have read a LOT of pizza dough recipes and almost every one of them says to let your dough come to room temperature before stretching it.

This recipe proves that it is best to stretch the dough while it is still cold. Your hands will warm it up as you stretch it and if you're careful, you'll be able to do a 16″ diameter pizza with each of these balls that is very thin like the New York style. You can also stretch it less if you like a more traditional pizza.

To stretch the dough, hold it on the sides sort of like you'd hold the steering wheel of your car with your hands only a few inches from each other.

IMG 0108

Let the weight of the dough stretch itself as you move your hands around the circle.

The more the dough is stretched the faster the process goes.

IMG 0113

If it feels like it's going to tear, just rest it across your arm for a few seconds before continuing on.

When it's about the right size, lay it on the floured pizza peel and shape it into a circle.

IMG 0117

I love to make barbecue pizza which just means that I use barbecue sauce instead of pizza sauce and I use some leftover smoked meat such as pulled pork or pulled beef.

The other toppings can be whatever you like such as mozzarella cheese, cheddar, jalapeños, onions, etc.

Here's a typical layering:

  • barbecue sauce
  • fresh mozzarella
  • meat
  • onions
  • peppers
  • More mozzarella
  • shredded cheddar
  • Jalapenos

Here's one I made recently.. I like to load 'em up!

IMG 0166

If you're using a home oven, make sure your top oven rack is about 9-10 inches from the top of the oven. Place a pizza stone onto that rack and turn the oven on to 500°F.

Let it preheat for about 30 minutes then right before you are ready to cook your pizza, turn it to broil.

It will stay on broil throughout the cooking process.

At this point the pizza stone is around 500°F due to the preheat  and this is to brown and crisp the bottom of the crust.

The ambient temperature in the oven is 500°F with direct heat from the heating elements at the top of the oven for browning the top of the crust and melting the cheese from the top down.

These 2 heat sources will do a great job of cooking your pizza perfectly in about 8-12 minutes but ultimately, you'll need to keep an eye on the pizza and when it's the right color, the bottom is crisp and brown, and the cheese is melted, the pizza is ready to remove and slice.

I have a Camp Chef pizza oven that runs on propane and it's a joy to use. The home oven works well but the pizza oven is designed for pizza and if you love pizza, it's a great investment without spending a whole heckuva lot.

Light the pizza oven about 20 minutes before you're ready to bake your pizza.

The Camp Chef pizza oven that I use has a single burner and I have found that I can set it to just below medium to maintain a steady 550°F.

I also use an infrared thermometer to test the temperature of the stone but this is completely optional. If you preheat the oven for around 20 minutes, the stone will be about the same temperature as the ambient temperature.

Here you can see the VersaTop burner on the bottom and the pizza oven that sits on top of that burner. The VersaTop is purchased separately and includes a flat top griddle.

You can then purchase accessories that can be used with the VersaTop including a barbecue box and the artisan pizza oven that I use.

The VersaTop uses 1 lb propane bottles but you can get a hose that converts it to use a larger 20 lb bottle.

Here's what you'll need to get started:

VersaTop Burner with Griddle Model FTG250

Pizza Oven Accessory Model PZ30

IMG 0167

IMG 0172

At this temperature, you can expect the pizza to get done in about 12 minutes but this will vary depending on your dough, amount of toppings, wind, etc.

Don't leave the pizza unattended and you'll be fine. Watch the pizza and when it's the right color, the bottom is brown and crisp and the cheese is bubbling, you can rest assured that it's about as perfect as can be.

IMG 0176

Using a pizza peel get easier with practice but I can tell you that I've used one quite a bit and I'm still not very good at it.

Make sure you flour your pizza peel really good before you place the dough on it.

When you ready to move the crust from the peel to the oven, hold it at about a 30 degree angle with the leading edge of the peel touching the pizza stone in the location where you want the back side of the pizza to be.

Give it a couple of good forward then back flicks and once the dough touches the pizza stone, you'll be able to slide the pizza peel out from under the dough completely.

I have found that I do a better job of not losing all of my ingredients if I press them down a little bit first and make sure they are well seated and ready for some forward/back movement. That may not be kosher but it's what I still have to do to make it happen. One of these days I'll be a pro but until then, I do what I have to do and so should you.

Using a pizza pan is a viable option for sure.. in fact, I have a whole box of the disposable kind that I purchased when I first started making pizza and they kept me sane when I just couldn't seem to get the pizza peel to work properly.

Your crust won't get quite as crispy that way but it's still crispy, still delicious and it's okay if that's what you need to do to make it happen.

Sometimes if we have a pizza party, I'll give everyone a pan and let them stretch and build their own pizza on that instead of using the pizza peel. It speeds things up and everyone is happy.

Absolutely and I have that planned.. be watching for that very soon! In fact, I'll send out an email to everyone on my newsletter list once that is available. Subscribe here to make sure you get that email as well as receive my new recipes just as soon as they get published.

By: Jeff Phillips
Title: The Best Pizza Dough Recipe
Sourced From: www.smoking-meat.com/best-pizza-dough-recipe
Published Date: 09/30/21

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Basehor Bombs

My twist on this recipe: https://urbancowgirllife.com/texas-twinkies-recipe/Basehor
I like chedder cheese more than creamed cheese, so used that instead. Chilis smoked for 1 hr @225, chilled in cold water and drained. Layered in strips of sliced chedder,diced up brisket mixed with Jack Stacks BBQ sauce. I use thick cut bacon, wrapped 1 slice around stuffed jalapeños and sprinkled with
Cowtown Squel. Smoked @ 225 for 1hr 15 minutes. Sure smells good . . . letting them cool off

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Title: Basehor Bombs
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pumpkinata – happy autumn

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swapped in pumpkin ale for water and added some pumpkin pie
spice to a base farinata di ceci, following the initial bake I removed it to a
grid for the addition of goat cheese, fresh rosemary and pineapple head/butter
roasted pumpkin then a final bake.

batter into a screaming hot cast iron pan with a good bit of olive oil, to get a nice fry on the exterior
the ale affected the final texture, guessing it was the sugar, didn't get the usual crispiness but still good
about another 5 minutues to melt things together a bit
topped off with a peanut/date crusted chocolate tart
doing a lot of yard work, fall cleanup, several bonfires lately, really enjoying autumn

pumpkin Sam & some salted peanuts, another great combination. 

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Title: pumpkinata – happy autumn
Sourced From: eggheadforum.com/discussion/1228773/pumpkinata-happy-autumn
Published Date: 09/26/21

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