SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND CHICKEN PIZZA PALOOZA!
Sun Dried Tomato Pizza Crust:
1, 8.5-ounce jar Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes – Julienne Cut in Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Italian Herbs
1 tablespoon honey
1 ½ cups warm water (115 degrees)
1, 3-ounce package Bella Sun Luci Sun Dried Tomatoes Julienne-Cut
1 packet yeast
2 teaspoons salt
4 ½ – 5 cups flour
¼ cup cornmeal
1 medium onion, chopped
6 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped (about one cup) + ¼ cup of the fennel fronds, chopped
2 cups shitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
2 cups boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
8-ounce Fontina cheese, shredded
6 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
½ cup basil leaves, chiffonade
Make the dough for the crust. Drain the oil from the 8.5-ounce jar of tomatoes with Italian herbs. Set the tomatoes aside (for pizza topping) and place 2 tablespoon of the oil, along with the honey, and water into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to dissolve honey into the water (so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the bowl).
Add the 3-ounce package of dried julienne-cut tomatoes to the bowl and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the liquid mixture, stir, and let sit for 5-10 minutes until yeast becomes foamy.
Add salt and 2 ½ cups of the flour to the bowl. Mix using the dough hook attachment. Gradually add as much of the remaining flour as needed until a ball forms. Empty dough onto a floured countertop and knead for 8-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic adding flour as needed if sticky.
Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour until doubled in bulk. Knead dough briefly and divide into 2 equal parts and form balls. Let rest for 30 minutes under a clean kitchen towel. If you are not using both balls, refrigerate each ball in a plastic bag sprayed with cooking spray for up to 4 days.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place pizza stone in the oven and let heat up for 20-30 minutes while you make the topping. You can also cook the pizza on a large sheet pan but a stone makes the best crispy crust!
Heat an additional 3 tablespoon of the sun-dried tomato oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and fennel and sauté until soft and fragrant. Rough chop the reserved sun-dried tomatoes from the jar and add them to the pan along with sliced mushroom caps, chicken, salt and pepper. Stir to coat and cook until the mushrooms begin to soften and fennel is lightly browned and caramelized. Add the cream to the pan and cook for another 4-5 minutes until the sauce reduces and is all flavors are combined.
Work one ball of the dough, making concentric circles with your fingers into a 14” circle. Sprinkle your pizza peel with the cornmeal and place the 14” round on top. Spread the filling evenly over the dough leaving 1” exposed dough all around to form the crust. Sprinkle with the cheese, followed by the crumbled bacon. Use the remaining tomato oil to brush the exposed dough around the edges.
Slide the pizza off the peel onto the hot stone and cook for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and the pizza is bubbly and browned. Garnish with the fresh basil, cut into slices, and devour!!