Sunday, May 15, 2011

Chicken Tarragon Pizza

Chicken Tarragon Pizza

Tarragon is called the "King of Herbs" by the French, and with good reason. It is the main flavoring in many of the sauces that form the foundation of classic French cuisine, as well as the basis of many Italian dishes too. This aromatic blend enhances the flavors of egg, chicken and fish dishes, and is also used as a basis for salad dressings. The scent and taste of tarragon is disliked by many garden pests, making it useful for intercropping as a companion plant, to protect its garden mates. It is also reputed to be a nurse plant, enhancing growth and flavor of companion crops. For this recipe it enhances the taste of the chicken and makes this recipe even more delicious!

Chicken Tarragon Pizza
Pizza dough (see previous post)
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed (McDowell Farm)
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, softened and sliced 
4 ounces shredded mozzarella or feta cheese
Parmesan cheese to taste
Tarragon pesto (can double this recipe and then freeze in ice cube trays for later use):
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbl. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2 tbl pecans
  • 1 tbl fresh lemon juice
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Alfredo sauce (optional, but this is a basic sauce that we use a lot at my house):
  • 2 tbl flour
  • 2 tbl butter
  • 2 cups warm milk
  • 1/2-1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 450° F. Roll out pizza dough on pizza stone.
  2. To make tarragon pesto (great for use in barbecued chicken skewers): Puree first five ingredients in food processor. Add the olive oil and blend until a coarse paste forms. Add 2 tbl water. Mix with the cubed chicken.
  3. To make alfredo sauce, melt butter in heavy saucepan then add flour and cook for 2-3 minutes while constantly stirring. Slowly add warm milk (I heat it for 2 minutes in the microwave) while stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat and add grated parmesan cheese. 
  4. Preheat oven to 450° F. Roll out pizza dough on pizza stone.  Spread the alfredo sauce on the pizza dough. Save any reserved sauce in the refrigerator for later use. Evenly spread the chicken terragon mixture over the bechamel, then spread on the sun dried tomatoes and shredded cheese. Place in oven and back for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Take out, serve, and enjoy.
*For a healthier version, omit the alfredo sauce and just mix the chicken with the tarragon pesto, spread the sun dried tomatoes and cheese and bake. We made it both ways and although the healthier version was good, it was a bit dry so we, of course, preferred the one with the alfredo sauce. 

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