Wood-Fired Pizza with Red Pesto and Grilled Chicken
Crispy, chewy crust is covered with red pesto sauce, grilled chicken, and fresh mozzarella cheese.
Servings: 8 personal pizzas
For the crust
- 1 2/3 cup warm water between 100-110 degrees F
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup good quality olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
For the grilled chicken
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella
- 4 oz HemisFares Red Pesto
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
- fresh basil leaves
In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water and the yeast. Allow this mixture to sit for 5 minutes until the yeast has dissolved and started to bubble. Pour in the olive oil, flour, and salt. Using the dough hook of an electric mixer, mix on slow for 5-7 minutes, or until the dough has a smooth surface and bounces back slowly when you press your finger into it.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal balls for individual pizzas or 4 balls for larger pizzas that will serve 2 people. I don't recommend making your dough balls any larger than this or they can be difficult to maneuver on the grill. Place the balls on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled, cover with a damp towel, and let rise somewhere warm for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat your grill for two zone cooking. Allow the direct heat side to get very hot (above 500 degrees F is great!
Season the chicken breasts with the garlic salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Grill over direct heat until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (about 7-8 minutes per side). Remove to a cutting board and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes before slicing thinly.
Before you begin grilling pizzas, make sure you have all of your toppings in place. I like to use a large cutting board loaded with the red pesto, mozzarella, sliced chicken, fresh basil, and sliced tomatoes.
Coat the palms of your hands lightly with olive oil and shape one of the risen dough balls into a disk. Slowly work your hands around the outside edges of the dough pulling and stretching gently. You want the dough to be an even thickness all around (don't worry about creating a "crust" around the outside edges).
Place the stretched dough on the grill grates over the direct heat. Grill with the lid open for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is browned and bubbles are starting to rise on the top. Quickly flip the crust over onto the indirect side of the grill and start layering on your toppings. Start with the pesto, then the mozzarella, chicken, tomatoes, and basil.
Close the lid on the grill and cook for 4-5 more minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melty. Feel free to open the lid and rotate the pizza as needed to keep the crust cooking evenly on the bottom. If you like a super crispy crust, carefully slide the pizza over to the direct side of the grill for an additional minute.
Use a big spatula to transfer the pizza to a cutting board. Slice and serve! Repeat the pizza grilling process as desired with the additional dough balls.