|Grilled Chicken and Prosciutto Margherita Pizza|
The Margherita Pizza is said to have been invented in Naples by a local baker in 1889 to celebrate a visit to the city by Italy’s Queen Margherita. The three original toppings were said to represent the colors of the Italian flag; basil for the green, tomato for the red and mozzarella for the white. I do make a Margherita Pizza that is true to those original ingredients which is quite delicious but here I have added a couple of extra flavor elements that work very well together. The roasted tomato jam as a base has the full natural sweetness of the tomatoes brought out in the cooking process which works as a great counterpoint to the saltiness of the kalamata olives, prosciutto and Parmesan. All of this is supported by a fantastic crispy chewy thin crust that I’ve grown a little too fond of these days.
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp instant rise yeast
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 2 tsp sea salt
Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook. Mix for 5 -10 minutes on medium speed. You may need to add a little more flour, a tablespoon at a time until the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl. Alternatively stir together with a wooden spoon before turning out onto a floured bread board and kneading for 5-10 minutes. Cover the dough and allow to rise for about an hour until about doubled in size. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for another few minutes. Divide into 4-6 equal portions, form into balls and let rest for about 10-15 minutes before stretching or rolling the dough out into about 9 inch rounds.
Preheat your pizza stone in middle rack of your oven for half an hour at 450 degrees F.
Place one round on a wooden peel that has been well sprinkled with cornmeal. The cornmeal will allow the pizza to slide off the peel (I’ve even used a thin piece of cardboard in a pinch if you do not have a peel.) Make sure your pizza is sliding on the cornmeal base before adding your toppings.
Roasted Tomato Jam
- 6-8 large vine ripened tomatoes diced
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
Toss together in a shallow baking dish and bake at 350 degrees F for about an hour stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has reduced off the tomatoes are the consistency of jam.
- 3 cups Roasted Tomato Jam
- 4 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp crushed chili sauce (optional if you don’t like spicy hot sauce or adjust to taste)
Spread sauce over the pizza dough before adding:
- sliced grilled chicken
- fresh mozzarella slices
- fresh basil leaves
- thin sliced prosciutto
- pitted kalamata olives
- julienned red peppers
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- cracked black pepper
Shake your peel to make sure the pizza is not stuck. Slide the pizza onto the hot stone, shaking it slightly in a back and forth motion as you slowly retract the wooden peel. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until the bottom is evenly brown and the top cheese begins to brown slightly. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.