If you're a pizza traditionalist then this post is not for you. If you're open to topping pizza with just about anything you can find in the kitchen, then keep reading. I was inspired by an article in the July edition of Food and Wine Magazine where Spike Mendelsohn used black beans as a base for a pizza.
Mexican Chicken Pizza-Download One Page Printable Recipe Mexican Chicken Pizza
Makes two 8 inch pizzas or one 12-15 inch pizza
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
2 8 inch or one 12-15 inch pizza crust
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), cooked and diced
1/2 cup monterey jack or pepper jack cheese (use low-fat if you like), shredded
1/2 cup pitted olives, sliced
3/4 cup lettuce, finely chopped or shredded
1/4 cup scallions, chopped
3/4 cup yellow or red grape tomatoes, halved
sour cream and guacamole for serving (optional)
Place a pizza stone or cookie sheet in the oven on the middle rack. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees or the temperature recommend on your pizza crust package.
If you're feeling ambitious you can make your own dough. I've been using this recipe lately and though it calls for grilling the dough on the barbecue, it works fine indoors on a pizza stone.
For this recipe, I poached the chicken breasts. But you can also use grilled, baked or rotisserie chicken instead. It really doesn't matter too much how you cook the chicken, just make sure it is cooked through before you top the pizza with it.
To poach chicken, simply place the breasts in a saucepan, cover with water, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling reduce the heat to simmer and cook gently for about 15 minutes. When the time is up, drain the water and move the chicken to a cutting board or plate to cool. You can also poach frozen chicken breasts this way, but omit the salt.
In a food processor or blender, combine the black beans, garlic, low sodium chicken broth, cumin and chili powder and process till smooth. Now taste the puree and see if you need to add the 1/4 tsp of salt. Depending on how much sodium the beans and the chicken broth contained, you may not need it at all, but now is the time to find out.
Now before we go any further, figure out how you are going to get your topped pizza crusts into the oven without burning yourself or spilling your lovely dinner all over the floor. Are you using a pizza peel? A large plate to slide them into the oven? A spatula to move them onto the hot cookie sheet or stone? All of these methods work but you need to figure out what you're going to do know before we proceed further.
Got that all worked out? Good! Now, spread the black bean puree over the pizza crust and top with the cooked chicken, shredded cheese and sliced olives.
I used a combination of pitted kalamata and black olives on this pizza. I buy them from the olive bar at the grocery store and slice them myself. The decision to use kalamata olives was met with extreme resistance by my DE (designated eater.) My DE thought that it bordered on criminal not to use black olives and that the flavor of the kalamatas was overpowering.
I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that way back in 1899 a couple of guys at Berkley's College of Agriculture engineered a way to preserve olives in metal cans. These two mad scientists gave us the ubiquitous, tasteless, canned, sliced black olives which to this day show up with alarming regularity on nachos and pizzas. These poor, flavorless olives start their short, sad lives out as green olives and then they're chemically treated to turn them black. If my DE wants to eat these tasteless throwbacks, he's more than welcome to them. I like real olives, that are the color that nature intended them to be. You can decide for yourself.
Now where was, I oh yes...the recipe.
You've got your pizza crust all topped so now it's time to slide it into the oven. You'll need approximately 8 to 12 minutes for everything to get hot and cooked through.
Pull the pizza out and top with the shredded lettuce, scallions, tomatoes. Dab on some sour cream and guacamole if you're inclined. Slice and serve.
I thought this was a nice alternative to the traditional pizza. You've got protein from the black beans and chicken and lots of fresh produce on top. Nachos on a pizza crust, what could be better?? Hope you're having a wonderful summer!