Ever had a Verde Chicken Pizza? Until recently I hadn’t either but it’s quickly become one of my all time favorite pizza’s. So much so that I’ve made several in the past month. Most pizzas are made with the traditional red tomato sauce, sometimes a white sauce, maybe pesto or even a barbecue sauce, but what I had in mind was something a bit more New Mexican. I decided on a verde sauce with a Mexican melting cheese and cooked seasoned chicken. The dough comes straight out of the “Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day”, which mixes Corn Masa flour in the dough to make the most aromatic dough when baked. Fresh toppings and crumbled Cotija cheese round out this pizza.
When the yeast has activated, begin mixing and start adding the flours. Continue mixing until all the flour has been incorporated. If using a mixer, continue kneading until the dough forms into a ball.
Place the dough into the bowl, cover and place in a warm place to rise. This takes approximately 2 – 3 hours. Once the dough has doubled in bulk, it can be used immediately or kept up to 10 days refrigerated in a lidded container.
While the dough is rising I’m going to make a Verde Salsa. Roast 6 medium tomatillos, 4 green chiles (unless using frozen or canned) 1 red onion, and 3 cloves of garlic under the broiler setting of 500 degrees. Remove the garlic after 5 – 7 minutes. The garlic should be soft. Remove the outer papery lining and set aside. Continue rotating the tomatillos and onion until they have roasted on all sides, about 10 – 15 minutes. (If roasting chiles, place them in a bag to steam for about 20 minutes before peeling).
Reserve half of the onion pieces and 2 Hatch NM green chiles. Chop the reserved onion and green chile to add back in later. Place the tomatillos, remaining onion and garlic in a blender. Add 2 roasted Hatch NM green chiles, 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, juice of 1/2 lime and 1 tablespoon honey. Puree the salsa in the blender. Salt to taste. If the salsa is too thick, add 1/4 cup water.
After the salsa has been pureed, add the reserved chopped onion and green chile back into the salsa. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making Verde Salsa, try the “Frontera” Tomatillo Salsa by Rick Bayless. I sometimes use it if I don’t have the time to make my own salsa.
1 cup Chicken, cooked (Rotisserie Chicken works well here)
4 ounces Chihuahua Cheese, grated
2 – 4 tablespoons Cotija Cheese, crumbled
1 – 2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
1 Jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup Green Onion, sliced
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
1/2 – 3/4 cup Verde Salsa, recipe follows (or use Frontera Tomatillo Salsa)
Corn Masa Dough, recipe follows
Heat oven to 450 degrees, place pizza stones or cast iron griddle in oven to heat for at least 30 minutes. Divide corn Masa dough in half and form into 2 balls. Generously flour a pizza peel and begin to roll out dough. When you have a diameter of about 12 inches rolled out, remove the dough to sprinkle the peel with cornmeal. This will enable you to easily slide the pizza from the peel onto the pizza stone. Begin spooning Verde Salsa onto the pizza leaving an inch around the edges. Add a layer of grated cheese, chopped tomatoes, jalapenos, green onion, and cilantro. Lastly, add a sprinkle of crumbled Cotija cheese. Drizzle with olive oil, slide pizza onto the pizza stone and bake for 12 – 15 minutes.
Roll out the remaining dough and build pizza as per instructions.
Makes 2 (12 inch) Pizza’s
Corn Masa Dough (adapted from Artisan Pizza and Flatbread in Five Minutes a Day)
1 1/2 cups Lukewarm water
1/2 tablespoon Yeast
3/4 tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/2 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
3/4 cups Corn Masa Flour
Combine water, yeast, salt, honey and olive oil in a mixing bowl. Let sit 3 – 5 minutes to activate yeast. Combine flours and begin adding to the bowl. Knead by hand or use a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and knead until all the flour has been incorporated. If kneading by hand you may have to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour. Form the dough into a ball and place in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, cover and place in a warm area to rise, approximately 2 – 3 hours.
The dough can be used immediately or refrigerated up to 10 days in a lidded container.
Divide dough in half and roll out per instructions above.
Makes dough for 2 (12 inch) pizza’s.
6 medium Tomatillos, remove outer paper layer and core
4 Hatch NM Chiles, roasted, peeled, stemmed and seeded ( I used frozen green chile that had already been roasted)
1 Red Onion, quartered and separated
3 cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro
1/2 Lime, juiced
1 tablespoon Honey
Salt to taste
Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and green chiles in the oven set at 500 degrees broiler setting. After 5 – 7 minutes remove garlic from oven and remove the outer peel. Continue turning tomatillos, chiles and onion until they have roasted on all sides and begin to soften or char slightly.
Remove chiles to a plastic bag to steam for 20 minutes before peeling. Chop half of the roasted chiles and onion and set aside to add back in later. Combine tomatillos, remaining chiles, onion, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, honey and salt in a blender to puree. If salsa seems to thick, add 1/4 cup water or more until you have the desired consistency. Salt to taste.
Add reserved onion and chiles to the salsa.