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Sep 10, 2010 10:23 AM

Chicken as a Pizza Topping

I want to use boneless breast as a pizza topping. The pie will be a thin crust pizza cooked on a stone in a 550F oven. I have been having excellent results lately and want to expand beyond tomato/mozz pies.
Tonight's pie will have tomato, garlic, onion, maybe mozz, maybe pecorino romano, maybe calamata olives....or none of the above.....anything's possible.
But the question is: how to prepare the chicken before putting it on the pie. Marinate? Saute? Poach? I want maximum flavor but I fear overcooked shoe-leather (but I also fear undercooked disaster). I would very much rather not put it on the pie late--I much prefer to not pull the pie out of the oven before it is done.

So--what kind of ideas are there for delicious, not overcooked chicken on a charred thin crust pie?

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    1. I happen to think chicken is great on pizza. If it were me, I would precook the chicken but undercook it. I think I would poach it a little with whatever seasonings go with the rest of your pie, let it cool & then chop & spread over the pizza. I'm guessing the pizza isn't going to take long so the chicken should cook and maybe brown a little while the pizza cooks. I really like thai bbq chicken pizza--hoisin sauce, cilantro, green onions etc.

      5 Replies
      1. re: sparkareno

        I strongly regret that another really good response got tossed with the bath water. Thank you for the good ideas (quite similar and almost simultaneous with sparkareno's) and for recognizing the question being asked. I welcome you back to this thread should you choose.
        Although that hoisin direction sounds outstanding, I'm likely staying more Mediterranean this time 'round.
        I'm definitely heeding the idea of undercooking the chicken.

        1. re: JonL

          A pizza place I used to go to had "chicken parm" pizza, and I think that would be best here. It was breaded and sauteed, then cut in thin slices and laid out on the pizza. I think that will help keep it juicy, plus the breading will add a nice textural element. Plus, it just plain works with the theme.

          1. re: JonL

            i'd strongly recommend against poaching. Poached chicken breast is too often dry and stringy and I think this would get exacerbated in the oven. I would bread and pan fry. Then let cool to room temp before using, otherwise you will dry it out

            1. re: ESNY

              My poached chicken never comes out dry or stringy. I turn the heat off the minute the water starts to form bubbles, put the lid on & let it sit for 45 minutes. I suggested to the OP that she undercook it before putting it on the pizza.

              1. re: sparkareno

                Chinese method of poaching chicken IS the best. I thank the "frugal gourmet" for that one : ) I would grill or sear the breast for maximum flavor.

                Oh Lord, back in the burgeoning gourmet pizza days I cannot tell you how many Char sui chicken pizzas I made. Marie Osmond used to order them a lot. Her and Tony Orlando used to come into the place I worked frequently (in Branson... yes, I know the town is famous for crappy food, lol).
                Never got to meet them though!

        2. Funny you should ask. My son likes chicken on his pizza. I've always cooked it first in the oven, but most recently I forgot to plan ahead. It wasn't done, in fact it was half raw, when I put it on the pizza. Turned out juicy and much tastier than usual.

          1. you can also pre-cook it keeping it very moist, then add it five minutes before the pizza is done and sprinkle a tad more cheese on top over it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Emme

              I work at a pizza place and we make a pretty popular chicken pizza. Never have had a problem with overcooking. We grill chicken breasts and slice them thin. The sauce is a white sauce, but I prefer pesto. I havent ever tried it at home. Our pizzas only take five minutes. We have a big brick oven. Might overcook if you need to cook the pizza a lot longer then that. But if you can get your oven really nice and hot it should work great.

            2. Depends on what kind of chicken experience you're looking for. You could do a shredded approach, in which case I would take a whole breast section or split breasts, brine them and slow roast it until it's done, with the skin off. Not looking for any browning, but just maximum juice retention. The slower you roast the better. Then you can take the meat off the bones and either shred or cube.

              To take the pie over the edge, I'd take the discarded skin and fry it crisp on a pan then sprinkle over the pie when it comes out of the oven.

              Otherwise I would dice the chicken up into cubes and go for a really fast browning in the pan with some italian seasoning. Leave chicken underdone to finish in oven.

              Or you can go for a chicken parm style breaded and fried approach. All would be delicious in their own way.