Posts Tagged ‘chicken pizza recipe’

Morel and Parmesan Water Poached Chicken Pizza


Right after describing this pizza to my wife, she said “John, did you know that there are different levels of madness?” Like a good husband, I totally ignored the comment and proceeded to do the unthinkable and dumped a cup of the best aged Parmigiano Reggiano into boiling water. That’s how this all started.


  Last weekend, I was approached by one of the guys from the ‘Morel Mafia’ who stopped by my stall at the Athens Farmers Market and sold me some really great looking morel mushrooms. It was then I knew that spring was in full swing. As I looked throught the mass of market shoppers, I saw that Margie Shew had some great looking fresh watercress that she grows at Shews Orchard at this time of the year and the rusted cogs in my pizza brain started clicking away. This pizza was gonna rock the same way spring rocks!

I love watercress and chicken so I got a few thighs together, a nice brick of Parmigiano Reggiano, the morels, garlic, lemon and some nice Bulgarian Kashkaval cheese and went to work. Oh, I love caraway seeds with morels, it’s one of those combo’s like mango and lime or cauliflower and gruyere or eggplant and mint or…don’t get me started.

But first, the Parmesan water:

This liquid is the rendered liquid essence of pure Parmigiano! I’ve used it as a sauce, a seaweed and shiitake soup by adding dashi broth, or by adding tomato water it makes a fabulous summertime chilled gazpacho broth.

Two cups water

One cup grated or chopped Parmigiano Reggiano (don’t substitute for the real stuff)


Bring the water to a boil and while it at a rolling boil add the cheese. Turn all heat off and stir with a whisk for 10 minutes until cooled down. Add to a glass bowl and cover when cool enough. Store in the refrigerator for two days.


After two days in the fridge, three levels will have formed in the bowl. The heavy milk solids will have fallen to the bottom, the light cream will have congealed on the top and in the middle will be a foggy water. Using a spoon and a deft hand, gently scrape the hardened cream off the top and reserve for later.


 Pour the water through a strainer, (for this recipe, I only strained through a regular wire strainer.) The solids can be used for grating in ricotta or as chips or even in breads.

For the Chicken:



Skin and debone the chicken leg carefully. Cut the sinew out without compromising the integrity of the meat. Rememeber you need a single piece of meat. This may be hard to do because thier usually a small muscled chunk that is not connected well. (The next anatomist or chicken I encounter, I’ll ask them.)


Take each leg meat and lay on plastic wrap. Put another piece on top and pound the crap out of it. I lost my meat mallet (probably in the sand box) so I had to use a rolling pin then the bottom of a heavy pan. Once pounded measure a 1 inch cutter height and cut the leg meat. Spray the cutter with oil and wrap the chicken around the cutter. I was tempted to use some meat glue but the twine worked just fine.


Take the round of leg meat and heat the parmesan water in a small sauce pan. Once the water comes to a boil insert the chicken. Cook for three to five minutes. It will cook fast because of the metal conduction and the hole. I found that if you tilt the pan and don’t spill the parmesan water (like I did,) the chicken will be more evenly cooked like above. Once the chicken is done, place in a covered container and refrigerate.

For the morel and sauce prep:

Two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Five to seven fresh morel mushrooms

Juice from one half of a lemon

One tablespoon caraway seeds

One half cup chicken stock


Place the morels in cool water and let sit under the water for at least 15 minutes. (NOTE) Some gregarious morel eaters use salted water but if you do this, you will kill the spores floating around in the water with the small bugs and crap that uses the morel as a New York apartment complex. Take the morels out and place on paper towels. SAVE THE WATER AND THROW AROUND A TREE IN YOUR YARD, THE SPORES HAVE A WAY OF RE-APPEARING EVERY YEAR!


Place the extra virgin olive oil in a pan under medium heat with caraway seeds and saute for five minutes. Add  chicken stock to pan and bring to a boil. Turn heat off. Add morels for ten seconds on each side. You are not cooking the mushrooms, just a quick poach that’s all. Take them out and reserve for later. 


Add two tablespoons of the parmesan cream from the top of the parm-water to the caraway stock. Reduce till it coats back of spoon.


Cut chives and add to the cooled sauce.  


For the pizza:

Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees without burning your house down.

Bang out a seven ounce dough ball from the Easy Dough Recipe on this blog to a 10-11 inch round pizza dough.

Pre-prepared caraway and chicken stock for sauce (above)

One cup Bulgarian Kashkaval cheese cut or shredded

Five pre-prepared chicken and morel rings

One bunch local watercress


Place sauce on pizza dough. Cut or tear about 1 cup of Kashkaval cheese and place on pizza. stuff the chicken rings with the morels and place on a piece of foil on a cookie sheet pour any extra parmesan water or drippings on the chicken. Place cheesed pizza in the oven. Wait for 6 minutes then put chicken and morels in the oven. Cook pizza for a total 12 to 15 minutes until golden brown. The chicken should be warmed up enough after eight to 10 minutes. (If you are worried about the chicken, it should be at an internal temp of 165.)







Miso Madness (Part 2 of the Yakitori Pizza Chronicles)

The best thing about yakitori is that it encompases all the tastes and textures I remember from Japan. First there’s that caramel-like tang of soy and sugar, a sweet and salty assault. Then comes the sour char of those sugars as they are put to the fire, released with a nominal crunch when you bite into the flesh. When you chew, the meatiness of the chicken and the cabbage-textured leek (or scallion) reveal yakitori’s true depth of tare, or concentrated sauce.

Let me get started on what challenges I face, making a pizza version of yakitori.

Question: What the heck type of cheese should I use, or should I use any at all?  It’s either got to compliment the taste of the chicken without overpowering the subtlties of the reduced sauce, or act as a foil without ruining the damn pie.

Goonish answer: The best cheeses I’ve found to compliment umami qualities are Parmesan, Gruyere, and Roquefort. I’ll use Parmesan and some creamy chevre atop  fresh mozzarella.

Question: What type of sauce should I use? A reduction of the tare? Tomato? Seaweed? Anchovy?

Goonish Answer: I made a broccoli-stem pickle the other day with red miso. I love the salty-sweetness of this stuff so I will schmear (deli term)  a little on the dough after mixing it with a quick splash of water.

So whatta we waiting for? Here’s the Yakitori Chicken Pizza.

1 seven-ounce dough ball from the Easy Dough Recipe

For the Tare:

Bones from one whole chicken, or 4 or 5 chicken backs, or even wing bones from a previously cut chicken (enough to fill a large saute pan)

3/4 cup sake or dry white wine (not Vermouth)

1 cup Japanese soy sauce (not Kikkoman)

1/2 cup Mirin (Japanese cooking wine) or sweet wine

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup chicken stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bones in a large heatproof saute pan and put in the preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning once. You want to roast the bones to release the deeply browned flavor. A liquid should start appearing at the bottom after 30 minutes and will turn more brown with time. Pull this out before it gets black.

When the bones have browned properly, put the pan on high heat and add the sake. Turn the heat to medium high and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to release what Anthony Bourdain calls the “Nasty Bits.”

After 7 minutes, and once the bits from the bottom of the pan are incorporated, add the soy, mirin, sugar. Simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, the stock thicken slightly. Turn the bones and scrape the pan again, ensuring all the crusty flakes are free. This is when the flavors will come together into what chefs call a fond. Add the chicken stock and simmer for another 30 minutes.

Strain the stock and throw the bones out. This is your tare. You may reduce a little more or add more chicken stock if it is too thick. It may not seem too thick but as it cools, it will thicken. Some fat may rise to the top depending on how much skin you initially put in the pan. (I like to keep some fat in the tare- it’s killer flavor.)

For the yakitori chicken:

2 skin-on, bone-in, chicken thighs (Throw another one in for yourself; otherwise you’ll end up eating them all.)

4 spring onions

Grab the thigh bone from the middle of the thigh. Using a very sharp boning knive, cut down and scrape the meat from the bone. When you get down to the joint, use a series of cuts around the bone and cartlage to free all the meat. Take your time.

You will end up with two boneless, skin-on thighs, ready for the grill.

Turn your grill on high. When the tempreature is at 450 to 500 degrees, place the chicken thighs on the grate skin side down. (This will oil up the grill, so when turned, the meat doesn’t stick). After 4 minutes, turn the chicken over and cook, flesh side down, for 4 more minutes. If the fat from the chicken flares up, move the chicken. When the outside of the chicken looks cooked overall, dip it into the tare and return to the grill. Continue to dip for 3 or 4 times. (NOTE: Yeah, I know this is not how the yakitori masters do it, but we are making pizza, for chicken’s sake.)

After 12 to 16 minutes, the thighs should be cooked through and the sugars in the tare should have carmelized on the skin, causing the heat to blacken it in some places. This is what you want. Keep the grill on and throw the onions on, turning once after 2 minutes. Apply the tare with a brush. Wait 2 more minutes and turn and apply the tare again. Cook of  an additional minute. Remove. Cool slightly, then cut into strips.

For the Pizza Assembly:

1 tablespoon red miso, stirred in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan

1 large ball fresh mozzarella

scallions cut into quarter inch segments

3 tablespoons creamy goat chevre

For garnish: cilantro leaves, enoki mushrooms, julienned carrot

Preheat pizza stone in your oven to 475 degrees.

Form the round of dough and place on a pizza peel with semolina or cornmeal. Brush the red miso on the dough and place the Parmesan on top. Arrange the fresh mozzarella on the Parmesan, then the chicken slices, followed by the onion and goat cheese.

Finish the pizza with another two tablespoons of tare, then slide pizza onto your preheated pizza stone. Or use parchment paper on an upturned heavy cookie sheet.  This is my Emile Henry pizza stone and no matter how hard I cut on it or drop it, heat it, it stays hard and clean and unchipped.

Cook this pie for 14 to 16 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown and the bottom is dark golden brown.

Here’s to you, yakitori masters of the world!  By the way, if you are ever in Athens, Ohio, stop by for our yakitori pizza at Avalanche Pizza.