New Meal Monday: Chicken Pesto Pizza

So I think it's pretty safe to say that most people love pizza. 
It might even be safe to say that many people have an emotional attachment to certain foods.
Well over the years, pizza has grown to hold a special place in my heart, as it's become a pretty special food in our family.  It had always had a role in my wife and my relationship.  See, we have pretty different tastes when it comes to food, but pizza was somewhere we could agree.  Plus the fact that you can put different toppings on each half means its one of the few foods we could order out and share!  Our first Valentine's Day together, I tried to take her out somewhere fancy to impress her (which was a disaster...), but our 2nd year together, when we knew each other a lot better, we went to a simple no-frills pizza place down the street from our college.  Every year since we got married our Valentine's Day tradition has been to stay in and make pizza.  
The night before we got married, we held our rehearsal dinner at American Flatbread in Waitsfield, Vermont.  (If you haven't been, this needs to become a top priority in your life...).  We've returned to celebrate our anniversary every year since.  Our daughter, who turned two years old a few weeks ago, has now joined us for our last three years! 
She has also become quite fond of pizza.  I know all kids like pizza, but she's a pretty picky eater.  At her daycare, Friday is "pizza day".  We have to send extra food for lunch because she'll try to steal pizza from the other kids after she finishes hers.  Apparently when she sees the pizza boxes coming in the door she runs to her chair.  Our friends who live down the street from us have a wood-fired pizza oven, which happens to be on wheels.  They rolled it down the road to our house so we could have a pretty epic pizza party for her second birthday.

So, why this ode to pizza on this particular New Meal Monday? 
Well, today happens to be our wedding anniversary.  And I'm cheesier than an extra-cheese pizza.  So today I wanted to share the pizza we make at home that is my wife's absolute favorite.  Every time we make pizza, we make this one first.  She thinks this because it's "our" favorite, but its really because its HER favorite.  I know how much she likes it, so I agree we should make that one first.
Now that, is true love. 

So, if you like to make pizza at home, this is really just a recommend assortment of toppings that we enjoy, if you've never made pizza at home, you should! It's fun, easy and can be delicious.  Definitely get a pizza stone and let it get really hot!
We typically buy dough for the crust to save a little time, but if you'd like to make your own there's lots of good recipes out there.

What you'll need (quantity varies depending on how big the pizza is):

  • Pizza dough. rolled thin
  • Mozzarella Cheese, grated
  • Pesto
  • Grilled chicken, chopped
  • Tomato, sliced thinly
  • Cheddar cheese, grated (about a quarter the amount of mozzarella)

How you'll do it:

  1. Put pizza stone in oven and turn oven on at 500F. Let oven heat stone for 45 min to an hour.
  2. Roll dough thinly. Cover dough with a thin layer of pesto, covering all but the outer edges.
  3. Distribute grilled chicken and sliced tomato across the pizza.
  4. Spread mozzarella cheese across whole pizza, then sprinkle the cheddar across the pizza.
  5. Spread some cornmeal on a pizza peel, then use peel to slide pizza onto pizza stone.
  6. Bake until crust start to crisp and brown on edges and cheese is bubbling (7-9 min).