Pesto Chicken & Pineapple Polenta Pizza
I’m like first boyfriend obsessed over this polenta pizza crust.
My first actual boyfriend was my husband. I had one kiss before him. I think all first kisses aren’t the best. So let’s talk about something better than first kisses…p.i.z.z.a.
Andrew doesn’t tend to swoon over food like I do. I did make some Parmesan Chicken last Monday that he said was the best thing I’d ever made. That is the closest I’ve gotten him to swoon over food. Actually I take that back. He totally swoons over his mom’s cherry pie. But all other food is just food.
I’m quite the pizza fan. I ate BJ’s Mediterranean pizza right before I got engaged so I have no doubt that pizza has, like, a wonderful-things-are-about-to-happen effect.
Sometimes it’s fun to make things pizza like. For instance, a pizza quiche. And sometimes it’s fun to make pizza all for yourself. And sometimes it’s fun to eat pizza for breakfast (hello, iPhone photography days). And sometimes it’s fun to put fruit on pizza.
Lately we’ve been freaking out about the Rio De Janeiro pizza at Piola. I’ve mentioned it before. Catupiry cheese is new to me. Andrew had it when he was in Brazil (without me. lame.) and now we’re addicted. It’s very cream cheese-ish. At the grocery store yesterday I spent approximately $16 on cheese. I like to time my large cheese purchases with a time that Andrew isn’t at the grocery store with me. But I needed some fontina, ricotta and pecorino romano for a lasagna recipe I’m making sometime this week. Cheese is just one of those things that you can’t buy a cheap version of. It’s not worth it. And low-fat cheese? Eww. I mean, it has no taste. I’d rather buy the full-fat versions any day and just eat not quite as much.
So this pizza is topped with pineapple. I used to hate pineapple. When I was like 8ish years old we went skiing one winter and my parents put me and my sisters in ski school for a day so we didn’t, ya know, ski off a cliff. At lunchtime the ski school fed us pineapple and the ski instructor made me eat it and it was just the worst experience ever. Plus, I’m really bad at skiing. I’m too much of a worrywart to go on skiing vacations. I was always scared my parents were gonna ski off a mountain. At 8 years old these are the things I thought about. Which was ridiculous because my mom grew up skiing and it an awesome skier and my dad didn’t grow up skiing but is the most competitive person so he picked up skiing quickly since he doesn’t want to be beat by my mom (shh, but my mom is still better).
But in the last 16 years I’ve rethought my feelings on pineapple. My feeling are all <3’s now.
So shredded chicken is quite the pizza topping staple for us. Many Sunday afternoon I’ll roast a chicken so we have cooked chicken to bulk-up salads, fill enchiladas or top pizzas with throughout the week. Who knew one roasted chicken could make life so much easier. But it can, it really can.
The only part about this polenta pizza crust is to make sure to bake the crust until it’s fully cooked. Otherwise you won’t be able to pick up a slice of pizza without it falling apart. Nobody’s got time for eating pizza with a fork.
- 1 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup cornmeal (or polenta)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 tablespoon pesto
- 3/4 cup Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar
- 1 cup shredded chicken
- 2/3 cup pineapple, chopped
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- In a sauce pan over medium-high heat, heat chicken broth and water to a gentle boil. Stream in cornmeal, whisking frequently. Continue to whisk until cornmeal absorbs the water, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking 15 more minutes, stirring frequently. Grease the bottom of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with olive oil. Scoop polenta into the pan and press into an even layer. It may be easier if you wet your hands a little.
- Top polenta with pesto, 1/2 the cheese, chicken, pineapple and remaining cheese. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Crust should be firm when removed from oven.