Balsamic Strawberry Pizza with Chicken and Bacon
Since it's strawberry season (woooohoooo!) all over this hemisphere (or it will be fairly soon) I thought I'd re-post a recipe that is, actually the second all-time favorite recipe of The Café. It's been blogged and re-blogged all over the world and was actually featured last month in Meridian, a popular London lifestyle magazine (check it out here, page 32 and also our Fattoush Salad on page 29). Since we've had so many new readers in the past year I wanted to share it one more time .............
There's a funny story that describes how it came about; a very humble story and honestly, I never thought anyone else would pay attention to it. They say that, "necessity is the mother of invention" but for me it might be a bit more precise to change the saying to, "Mother Hubbard is the mother of invention"!
You see, this Balsamic Strawberry Pizza with Chicken and Bacon was created one day when I was feeling a bit like old Mother Hubbard. I hadn't been to the grocery store in quite a while and when I perused the refridg shortly before dinner one evening there wasn't much to be had.
I saw one lonely chicken breast, a bit of leftover bacon, a few strawberries and an assortment of condiments, that was it - other than a little cheese. But behold!! - among the condiments was a lovely jar of Strawberry Jam. Gazing upon the ruby-red sweet jam got my imagination going and the rest of the story is history this pizza!! You have to try this!! I know it sounds quite unique, well maybe even - a little odd, but this pizza is truly fantastic, thanks to Mother Hubbard!!! 🙂
P.S. Oh, by the way, the CCC (Chief Culinary Consultant) says that this is the best pizza he's ever had! And that's saying alot. Although he is my greatest supporter and encourager, he isn't super effusive with praises; if he says it is awesome, you really do need to try this!! 🙂
- ½ cup strawberry jam or preserves I used my Strawberry-Pineapple Freezer Jam, use your favorite
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha Chili Sauce
- 1 ball pizza dough your favorite or this recipe or a purchased ball of dough*
- 1 cup diced or shredded chicken breast from rotisserie chicken or left over chicken of any kind
- ½ cup applewood smoked bacon cut in 1 inch pieces, cooked and drained
- ½ cup thin sliced sweet onion
- 12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese I used Sargento, but whatever you like best is fine
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
- ¼ cup fresh strawberries diced small
Place pizza stone or sheet pan on middle rack of oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until reduced to half of the original volume and mixture is thick and syrupy. Add strawberry preserves and Sriracha and mix well. Set aside to cool.
Pat or roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to approximately a 14 inch circle. Shape does not have to be perfect, this is a rustic pizza. Place a piece of parchment paper, slightly larger than your dough on a pizza peel or an upside down sheet pan. (The parchment paper will make your transfer of the pizza to the oven infinitely easier!) Sprinkle parchment paper lightly with cornmeal. Fold dough in quarters and place on parchment paper, then unfold.
Combine chicken with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic-strawberry mixture and mix to coat all chicken with sauce. Pour rest of sauce onto pizza dough and spread to cover. Leave a 1 inch border all around the edge. Scatter chicken evenly over the sauce.
Place about ¾ of the cheese on top of dough and spread to cover sauce evenly. Scatter bacon and sweet onion over cheese to distribute evenly. Scatter remaining cheese over this layer.
Slide parchment paper with pizza on top onto stone or cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Watch carefully, at this temperature it is easy to burn the pizza!
Remove from oven and let cool slightly, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and fresh diced strawberries. Serve and enjoy!
*You can purchase pizza dough from Whole Foods, Trader Jo's and many other grocery stores. Often pizzerias will sell a ball of their own dough for a very reasonable price.