Last weekend was incredibly beautiful and warm, albeit a bit windy. I took it as the perfect opportunity to experiment with something I’ve wanted to try for a while – cooking pizza on the grill. It was definitely an experiment in getting the timing of everything right because we started having some wind issues just after I started, so I had to act really fast and be organized. I confess that the bottom of the crust on the first pizza burnt, because combined with the distraction of a phone call and the necessity of keeping the lid down so the grill would stay hot with all the wind I was not paying very close attention. We sliced off the bottom burnt layer and all was well. I tried again the next day (sans wind) and it cooked up without a hitch.
I love the tangy sweetness of the chutney against the flavor of the sharp cheddar cheese and this pizza feels pretty light because you don’t have all the grease from pepperoni, sausage, or other fattening meaty toppings. I upped the amount of cheese to 6 oz., the original only called for 3, and that felt like the perfect ratio of cheese to toppings to crust.
This would be an excellent summer recipe for those who have gardens that produce an abundance of juicy homegrown tomatoes. Luckily for me, on the vine tomatoes were on sale for 88 cents/lb. at Sunflower Farmers Market. Not only were they on sale, they were deliciously juicy.
Combine all the ingredients for the chutney in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, or until thickened.
Preheat the grill. Brush top side of the dough and grill grates with olive oil. Place crust, oiled side down, on preheated grill (don’t close the lid). Keep your eyes on the crust! Grill it for 2-4 minutes, flip crust to the other side, brush top with oil and spread chutney over crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
Top chutney with chicken. Sprinkle diced tomato, cheese, and green onions evenly over chicken. Continuing grilling until cheese melts and crust is golden. At this point, I did close the lid for about 1 minute to help the cheese melt faster so the crust wouldn’t get overcooked. Cut pizza into wedges.
Pizza Dough (makes 2 pizzas)
From Cook’s Illustrated
1/2 c warm water, about 110 degrees
1 envelope (2 1/4 tsp) instant yeast
1 1/4 c water, at room temp
2 Tbs olive oil
4 c bread flower, plus more for dusting the work surface
1 1/2 tsp salt
Measure warm water into a medium sized bowl or measuring cup (with at least a 2 c capacity). Sprinkle the yeast over water and let stand 5 minutes. Add the room temperature water and oil and stir to combine.
Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle. Briefly combine the dry ingredients at low speed. Slowly add the liquids and continue to mix on low until a cohesive mass forms. Stop the mixer and replace the paddle with the dough hook. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Form dough into a ball and put in a deep oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in bulk. Press the dough to deflate. Divide dough into two equal portions and shape into pizza rounds.
*I think this is a great recipe for using up leftover roasted chicken if you’ve cooked a whole chicken. This time, however, I simply did a quick brine on 2 chicken breasts, seasoned with pepper and thyme and pan roasted them. For the quick brine, dissolve 4 Tbs kosher salt in 4 c water. Place chicken and salt water in a disposable gallon sized bag and let brine for 30 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
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