Pizza is one of those foods that gets more than one National Days. Pizza Day is February 9. Eight months later, on October 9 we get Pizza and Beer Day. This year for National Pizza Day, I served up an Italian Meat Lovers Pizza Stromboli. Yeah, that was a stretch, but it worked.
Today for National Pizza and Beer Day, I offer you my favorite type of pizza. It’s one of those Fancy-Pants Pizzas, as Hubby calls them . He equates white sauce pizzas with Quiche – something real men don’t eat. While I like red sauce pizzas, I love white sauce pizzas. Just as with pastas – I like a tomato based pasta sauce, but I adore cream based sauces.
I know for many the thought of a foamy head of amber beer and the rich, cheesy flavor of pizza go together like Peas and Carrots. I think that works for someone who likes the flavor of beer. I’ve tried to develop an appreciation for the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man, but it just doesn’t do it for me. Although I will admit, beer’s long history deserves respect. The Ancient Egyptians perfected brewing beer. In ancient times, drinking water was a risky proposition. The waters were a cesspool of disease. However; the process of brewing beer made the water safe to drink. In Egypt everyone from the Pharos to the slaves included beer as part of their diet. The consumption of beer imparted calories and proteins necessary in ancient times. Today beer is consumed for the flavor and not for the benefits.
Pizza has been around since 997 AD in Gaeta, Italy. Back then, pizza did not have any tomato sauce. So it could be argued that a white sauce pizza is more “authentic”. Hey, that works for me. How ‘bout you?
Oh, and in case you were wondering, I like a red wine with red sauce pizza and a crisp, clean white wine with a white pizza. But hey, since today is pizza and beer day, go ahead and pour your favorite draft. Cheers to delicious eats!
Roasted Garlic Chicken Pizza
2 Chicken Breasts
Garlic Salt to taste
6 Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup Red Onion
1 tube refrigerated Classic Pizza Crust
1 tablespoon Butter
2 tablespoons Flour
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/2 cup Milk
1/4 cup Half and Half
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/4 teaspoon dried Thyme Leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried Oregano
1-1/2 teaspoon Parsley Flakes, divided
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise to create 4 thin breasts. Season breasts with garlic salt. Place seasoned breasts on the baking sheet and set aside.
Cut a large sheet of foil, fold into a square box that will rise above the baking sheet enough to prevent chicken juices from reaching the garlic. Place unpeeled garlic on the foil square. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear and the garlic is roasted.
While the chicken and garlic roast, cut red onion into small slivers, set aside.
Remove chicken and garlic from the oven. Chop chicken into small bite sized strips, set aside. Peel the garlic, mince and set aside.
Increase oven to 400 degrees. Spray pizza baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the pizza dough out to the desired thickness and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and make sauce.
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine butter and roasted garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat. Stir in milk and half and half. Whisk to blend. Reduce heat to medium-low. Sift flour over milk mixture while whisking to prevent lumps. Add black pepper, thyme, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes and garlic salt. Whisk well. Turn off heat, add parmesan cheese. Stir together until all cheese is melted.
To assemble Pizza: Spoon sauce onto par-baked pizza crust. Top with chicken pieces evenly Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over entire pizza. Sprinkle red onion over mozzarella cheese
Sprinkle remaining 1 teaspoon (or more) dried parsley on the very top of the pizza.
Place entire pizza into the oven for an additional 6 minutes. Switch oven to broil for 2 minutes, or until the cheese and crust reach your desired doneness!
Serve immediately and enjoy. Cheers!