Sunday, August 25, 2013

Greek Chicken Pizza with Feta & Crispy Chickpeas


I have been seriously pizza-obsessed this summer.  And while I wish that I could tell you it's coming to an end, I can't.  I have 2-3 pizza recipes waiting to be shared, and we're having pizza for dinner tomorrow night.  So like I said - obsessed.  I also wish I could tell you that I'm sorry, but I'm not.  Pizza could very well be the perfect food.  Here are some things I love about pizza:

  1. Pizza crust.  Carbs, hello!
  2. Cheese.  No explanation needed
  3. It's infinitely adaptable.  You can go as simple as pepperoni and cheese, or as crazy as corn sauce, and everything in between.  And it's all good.  
  4. It's easy - stretch your dough, pile on some toppings, and you're done!
  5. Cheese.  Again.
  6. Pizza is best enjoyed with wine or beer.  It's just a fact.
  7. It's a fun family activity - kids love to help, and it's a great chance to spend some quality time together after school.
  8. Everyone loves it.
So there you have it.  If that's not enough to convince you to make pizza for dinner tonight... well I don't know what to tell you.  In all seriousness though, we probably enjoy pizza once a week, and we never get tired of it because I'm always mixing up the toppings and flavors.  

I've always loved Greek flavors, and this pizza is loosely inspired a bit by chicken gyros.   I started by brushing the dough with a simple garlic-infused oil.  Then I piled on some shredded chicken, lots of veggies, feta, and chickpeas.  After it's cooked, I drizzled some tzatziki sauce over the whole thing, and the resulting pizza was nothing short of spectacular.  Feta is just awesome on it's own, but when combined with sweet and juicy roasted tomatoes, you get something really special.  I also really loved the chickpeas - when baked at a high temperature, they get crispy and really delicious - a nice textural contrast to melty cheese.

As far as pizzas go, this one was actually pretty light.  There's a modest amount of cheese, plenty of veggies, and lots of protein from the chicken and chickpeas.  I also used a whole wheat crust.  The pizza was surprisingly filling - normally I eat an obscene amount of pizza, but I was pretty satisfied after just one piece of this one.  I obviously love trying out new recipes and combinations, but this one will definitely be a repeat in our house!

Greek Chicken Pizza with Feta & Crispy Chickpeas
makes 1 12-14 inch pizza
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 lb pizza dough, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup shredded chicken
  • 1 cup halved grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, patted dry
  • 2-3 Tbs tzatziki sauce, plus more for serving
Preheat the oven and a pizza stone to 500 degrees, for at least 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat, pour the oil into a small bowl, and cool slightly.

On a large piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal, pull and stretch the pizza dough into a 12-14 inch circle.  

Brush the entire piece of dough with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil, and scatter the chopped spinach evenly over the dough, leaving a 1/2-1 inch border around the edge.  Spirnkle the mozzarella cheese over the spinach, followed by the chicken, tomatoes, onion, and feta.  Toss the chickpeas with the remaining oil, and scatter them over the dough as well.

Transfer the pizza + parchment to the preheated stone, and bake 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is golden-brown and the toppings are heated through and beginning to brown as well.

Remove from oven and allow to cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.  Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons of the tzatziki sauce over the pizza, and serve with additional sauce for dipping.


Mimi said...

This looks amazing! I've been hooked on your white pizza recipe ever since I've tried it...we have it at least once a week!

Joanne (eats well with others) said...

We are totally in agreement - pizza is for SURE the perfect food! I love how you're not afraid to just kind of throw anything on it and see what happens. I find that those are the best pizzas.

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goodthymes said...

I'm making this right now! I can't wait for it to come out of the oven!

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