Monday, March 10, 2014

date night chicken parm cornbread pizzas

Date night is my favorite. Sometimes it's fun to go out. But the dates I like best are in this little home of ours, sitting across the table from this husband of mine, with our dog-child at our feet. Since we moved into our home a couple months ago, it feels even sweeter to be together in this place that we worked hard and waited for. And while I'm no longer cooking for us in a renovated hallway closet, I still like to make humble little dinners for us to enjoy on these date nights in. Pizza always fits the bill.

P.S. Happy two year anniversary to you, husband! Life with you is sweeter than I knew it could be.

Chicken Parmesan Cornbread Pizzas (adapted from Megan for Betty Crocker)
makes 2 individual pizzas

for the cornbread crust, you'll need:
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil

for the pizza, you'll need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, pounded thin
1 egg, beaten
1/2 sleeve Ritz crackers (or similar cracker)
4-6 tablespoons tomato sauce (I use Pomi)
6-8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
crushed red pepper flakes, for serving (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

First, make the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the crackers in a large plastic bag, seal, then use hands to crush into small pieces. Beat egg in a shallow dish. Dip the chicken breast into the beaten egg, then place in the plastic bag with the crackers. Transfer chicken to the hot skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, until the outside is browned and crispy and the chicken is completely cooked through. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain excess oil. Allow the chicken to rest for a couple minutes before cutting into thin strips.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt. Add water and olive oil and stir to combine until a dough is formed. You may want to use your hands to bring it all together.

Divide the dough in half. If making pizzas into a heart shape, divide each half in half again, so that you have 4 equally sized balls of dough. Place 2 of the balls right next to each other, then pull down and together to meet at a point. (You can use a rolling pin for this, but I like to just press the dough down with my hands.) Repeat with the other 2 balls of dough.

Transfer the pizzas to the baking sheet side by side. Divide the tomato sauce, chicken, mozzarella, and Parmesan between the pizzas. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.

Sprinkle with extra Parm and red pepper if desired. Use a spatula to transfer each pizza to a plate and dig in!

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  1. Love that heart pizza, so sweet and delicious! Happy anniversary and congrats on your new home! A home of your own is such a lovely thing..

  2. Marie, I honestly know just what you're talking about. Date night at home is really special and we do it often on Friday nights (after bedtime since we have a noisy 8 y.o). : ) Your heart-shape pizza is so, so sweet! I love all your meals...your husband is a lucky fella. I'm so glad you're enjoying your new home and kitchen. xo

    1. You're so sweet Monica! Glad you all can enjoy some date nights at home too :)

  3. happy anniversary dear :) i cant wait to see your home and meet with your familia..

    1. Thanks so much friend!! Yes yes! We're heading out of town this week but let's touch base after that. Hope you had a great birthday!

  4. Happy Anniversary to you guys... and Happy New Home too. You have lots to celebrate and I can't think of a better way to do than with a heart-shaped pizza.

  5. What a sweet post, love the heart shaped pizza

  6. Awwwww this was so cute!!! Happy Anniversary!! I love this idea for date night :)

  7. Happy anniversary lady! We love pizza so will try this on our next date night!

  8. Awww so adorable. And yes, date nights are the BEST. Love this cornbread crust!

  9. Happy Anniversary to you and your hubs!
    @ home date night is so underrated!

  10. aww such a sweet post! Happy Anniversary!

  11. Awww happy anniversary to you guys!! Also, I've only made cornbread pizza once and it was terrible, haha! The "crust" kept crumbling apart on me. I need to try this recipe! It looks tasty! :)

    1. Thanks Rach! And yes, please try this recipe - it worked great!

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