Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Chicken Pizza from scratch


Pizza all time favorite food of all was invented in Italy ..I know everyone knows that :)

we never had an opportunity to taste these till we were almost grown up " poor us"  ;)
Glad that , we have everything around us now in our place, that's one of the changes that occurred in India , I mean may call it development , people getting chance to taste what the world eats...
Most of us are habituated with Rice and side dishes or chapathi and dal ,  that we may not like continental food all the time....but I think Pizza is one of our favorites.

Ingredients 


For Pizza Dough

All purpose Flour - 2 cups (and more for dusting)
Instant Yeast - 2 and 1/2 tsp ( almost a sachet )
Sugar - 1 table spoon
Oil - 2 table spoon (Olive oil - optional , use vegetable oil otherwise )
Warm Water - 1/2 cup (approx to make a soft dough )
A pinch of salt.

Method

* Mix sugar to warm water and add the yeast to it , keep it aside to activate yeast , takes almost 10 minutes. (Water shouldn't be hot , as very hot temperature may kill yeast ) smell the yeast and also it may rise a bit by 10 minutes.

* Combine flour , salt and 1 table spoon of oil and slowly add the yeast mixture to the flour , work with your hands to make a dough.It should be soft , use water adequately if it looks more soft and its hard to work with ,add a little more flour to make it pliable.


Of course its going to stick but then as you work , it becomes flexible.Make a ball with the dough and coat with the rest of oil and cover with a wet cloth and keep it in a warm place to rise , this one rises quite soon , I kept these in my lightly preheated(preheated to warm) oven for about 45 minutes and it doubled its size by then.If not warm place it may take longer time to rise.

After Rising.

* Punch'em down and the dough is now ready. I used only half portion of the dough to make a large size pizza , refrigerated the other half for experimenting the next day, may refrigerate these till 3 days. (If you made more of this dough and plan to use it the following days , keep the portion for refrigeration before they rise , the day you use it , bring the dough back to room temperature (keep out 1 or 2 hour's)  and then keep in warm place to rise.)


Pizza Sauce 

Initially I had no clue about all these oregano , thyme , rose mary etc etc which I used to hear in the food network often , had no idea of its taste or its looks , even now if am asked to identify oregano from a bunch of herbs I'll be confused.
If asked to identify Curry leaves I will for sure  hahahaha....that's not a big Deal :) 

 Oregano is the key ingredient in pizza / pizza sauce , If you have an idea about Marjoram (in India), Oregano is almost the same or related species ,  anyways we get dried oregano in any herb shop in India or packed oregano in grocery shops. but then to eat things to suit our taste no flavoring ingredients are mandatory. Use herbs of your choice , like combination of
  •  Basil (fresh or dry thulasi leaves) & Jeera powder/ cumin powder  or
  •  Coriander leaves/cilantro & Jeera powder/ cumin powder  
  • Dry Methi leaves/Fenugreek leaves & Cumin powder 
  • Basil (Thulasi leaves) & (Perunjeerakam) Fennel seed powder & Oregano works good too
or what ever herbs you like in your pizza , the following is how I made a pizza sauce. 

Ingredients  

Tomato's - 3 medium (Make a puree out of these)
Garlic- 2 no's crushed and finely chopped
Tomato sauce - 4 table spoon 
Kashmiri chili powder - 1 table spoon 
Red chili Powder or cayenne pepper powder  - 1 tsp ( or use a hot sauce 1 tsp) 
Dried Oregano - 1 table spoon 
Cumin/Jeera powder - 2 tsp
Oil - 1 table spoon (olive oil if you have , or else vegetable oil or ghee )

Method.

*To make a puree out of the tomatoes , lightly slice the outer skin of the washed tomato's and place these in boiling water , boil for 5 to 10 minutes, peel off the skin (which out out easy if lightly marked with knife before cooking). Blend these tomatoes to paste without adding water and keep aside.

* Heat oil in a pan , saute the chopped garlic first followed by the tomato puree and cook for 5 minutes , constantly stirring the same, add in the cumin powder , chili powders or hot sauce(if using) , salt ,oregano and tomato sauce , saute for another 3 minutes in low heat and Pizza sauce is ready. 


Can refrigerate the sauce if you have excess. Forgot to take a pic of all done sauce :( 
they look more red with the addiction of kashmiri chili and tomato sauce. 

For Topping the Pizza. 

I used Chicken - breast pieces 1/2 cup chopped in to cube shape, Lightly fried these chicken pieces in a little oil with salt and pepper , when done , added meat masala and hot sauce to coat the chicken pieces (use masala of your choice to flavor the chicken pieces , its fine even if there is no extra flavor added to it too ) 

Half of medium size Onion sliced 
Capsicum - 1/2 of medium sliced 
Cherry Tomato's - a few half ed
Mushroom - a few sliced
Cheese - 1/4 cup (use more or less according to your choice, I had grated mixed cheese - mozzarella , cheddar so used it) 
Oil - little to drizzle on the toppings.

Use Vegetable's of your choice here or what ever you have , simply onion and chicken will taste good too.

Method.

* Preheat the oven to 400 degree F
* Sprinkle a little flour to the surface and Roll the dough to a circle shape or square , you can work with your fingers stretch the dough to desired shape. and make it thinner in the middle.Let it rest for 5 minutes.


* Spread the Pizza Sauce on to the rolled dough , top with a little of grated cheese , spread evenly.














*Top with cooked chicken , onion, tomato's and bell pepper/capsicum and drizzle a little oil (to prevent'em from drying while baking) and a little (1 table spoon ) of grated cheese. (use little or more cheese as you want it)

* Bake this pizza for 25 minutes till the side crust looks nice and golden brown , sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top,  while the pizza is hot. or bake it , after adding the cheese for a few minutes so that the cheese all melts on top.Your pizza is ready. Enjoy the taste of all fresh ingredients in your home made pizza.


" buon appetito " 

Notes:

: If you like a thin crust pizza , roll the dough thinner and also prick the bottom of the dough with a fork to help air escape , then it won't rise and will help get a thin crust and it cooks in lesser time.
: High temperature plays a major role in cooking the inner crust part , minimum is 400 degree F , can make it higher to 450 F for better results. 

: Can use an oven proof Iron pan/ chapathi tava to make pizza , place the crust over the pan first , heat the tava over the stove on low heat for 5 minutes (the lower part starts to cook) then place it in the pre heated oven , it helps in cooking the inner crust well as shown here vanchef - Youtube

: If you don't have an oven - can use a simple pan too , place a thick bottom flat surface pan (Iron chapathi pan) over the fire / stove ,  heat it nicely and place the pizza - placed pan (smaller pan) over the heated iron tava and cover it with an tight lid (if possible an sir tight lid) and heat it for atleast 25 minutes in medium heat. Make the pizza thin crust for better results. as shown in Bavna's kitchen

: Do make pizza's with the sauce of your choice simple tomato sauce or white sauce goes good too.


Cheers
TN