I learned of this healthful take on pizza, which uses a flattened chicken breast in place of pizza crust, from the Rachael Ray Show. It is similar to a chicken parmesan, though thinking of it as pizza might make it a bit more fun.
As part of her #GimmeFive campaign, First Lady Michelle Obama challenged Chef and Talk Show Host Rachael Ray to introduce five meals using only five ingredients on her morning talk show. If you’re familiar with Rachael Ray, you know that extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), salt, and pepper are freebies in any of her recipes.
In my version of the chicken breast pizza below, I added a few extra toppings, which put me over the five ingredient limit, but since the additions are veggies, I figured that’s probably OK.
Give this pizza a try; it’s easy and delicious and sure to please the whole family!
You’ll notice that my measurements below are approximate. The beauty of this recipe is that you can fiddle around with it and add what you like, just as with a traditional pizza. The below recipe yields eight servings.
More or less, you will need:
4 chicken breasts (use the thick ones)
2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes
4 cloves of garlic, chopped (I might use six, because I really love garlic)
1 cup shredded mozzarella (you can add a little grated parmesan as well if you’d like)
3 tablespoons chopped basil
Freebies: extra virgin olive oil (about 1 tablespoon; a spray can works well); salt; black pepper
*Feel free to include additional toppings as well, such as mushrooms, bell peppers, black olives, etc.
Step 1. Create your pizza crust. Do this by cutting each chicken breast cross-wise from one side to the other, but not all the way through. Open the breast up like a book, butterfly style.
Step 2. Thin out the chicken breast using a meat hammer, if you have one. In true foreign service fashion, I am improvising using a regular hammer covered with a plastic bag, as I do not currently have access to all of my kitchen tools. It gets the job done.
Step 3. Place the flattened chicken breasts on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush or spray each one lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Step 4. Broil the chicken breasts until just barely done, about 12 minutes, depending on your broiler and the thickness of the chicken. You may want to turn the chicken breasts over about halfway through. Be careful not to cook the chicken too much, as it will go back under the broiler after you add your toppings, and you don’t want it to get dry. Once it’s cooked, remove the baking sheet from the oven and place on a cooling rack.
Step 5. As the chicken sits under the broiler, prepare your red sauce by sautéing the cherry tomatoes and chopped garlic cloves in about 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.
Step 6. Once the tomatoes are crushed, turn the heat down to a low simmer. The sauce will be watery, but it will reduce after a few minutes as the water evaporates. Remove the sauce from heat once it reaches your desired thickness. For me, this took about 10 minutes.
Step 7. Build your pizza! Spread a couple of spoonfuls of fresh red sauce on each chicken breast. Follow with your desired toppings. I added fresh mushrooms. Top each chicken breast with about 2 tablespoons shredded mozzarella/parmesan cheese, and a few pieces of the fresh chopped basil. I also added a cured Italian olive to each of my pizzas. Return the baking sheet to the broiler for about 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
Step 8. Remove your pizzas from the oven. Allow a few minutes for them to cool and transfer to your serving plates. I sprinkled some crushed red pepper on my pizzas and served them with a fresh salad. Enjoy!