Recipe: CPK's Rosemary Chicken, Potato (and Mushroom) Pizza

Thursday, March 06, 2014

California Pizza Kitchen Rosemary Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Pizza recipe

When I was in college, my friends and I would go out on weekends for meals at restaurants. It was our chance to escape the humdrum of our college campus and, most especially, the bland entrées offered in our dining halls on Friday and Saturday nights. Dry nondescript fish fillets and overcooked chicken were the regular weekend dinner offers, and eventually, I found them so lacking in flavor and appeal that I sought refuge in pasta quills with bland pomodoro sauce instead. Personally, I think the Freshman 15 is gained not because of a sudden wealth of choices and freedom, but in a quest to find flavor in cafeteria food.

When my friends I found ourselves at the local mall around dinnertime, our typical stop was California Pizza Kitchen, where we'd share pizzas and their amazing chocolate soufflé cake. One night, our vegetarian friend Laura came along with us and ordered the Rosemary Chicken and Potato Pizza, no chicken. It was delightful and flavorful, and I vowed to share this "find" with my friends back home. Except ... CPK discontinued this wondrous pizza. In the years since, I have tried a few potato pizzas (a rare find) when I've come across them -- including one recommended by Food Network chef Alex Guarnaschelli -- and none have come anywhere close to that CPK pizza.

So, years later, I've decided to try to recreate it and put my own little spin on it by adding some portabella mushrooms. I've been craving potatoes recently, and what better month to try out this recipe than March, with St. Patrick's Day coming up? (I haven't even told you about the theme dinners at my college, and the annual St. Patrick's Day menu! More on that some other time.)

Though I usually share what I consider "easy recipes" on my blog, I'm not labeling this pizza as such because it is rather time-consuming, and must be done in 4 parts (and even then, with pre-made or store-bought pizza dough). Below, I will outline the ingredients and instructions of each of the three parts.

Rosemary Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Pizza 

(adapted from The California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook)
Yields: One 9-inch pizza
Total Prep and Cooking Time: 2 to 2.5 hours

Ingredients for the Potatoes
1 medium red potato (most potatoes would do), sliced into 1/8-inch thick rounds 
1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon, if fresh)
1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary (or 1 teaspoon, if fresh)
1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Instructions for the Potatoes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a bowl, mix the potatoes, garlic, oregano, rosemary, pepper and olive oil together until the potatoes are coated. On a baking sheet, spread the potatoes out in a single layer so that there is no overlap. Discard any leftover marinade.

Bake the potatoes for 35 to 45 minutes, or until they begin to brown. The potatoes may need to be flipped over during baking to achieve an even brown color. After removing them from the oven, place the potatoes on a paper towel to drain off excess oil. Do not refrigerate.

California Pizza Kitchen Rosemary Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Pizza recipe
California Pizza Kitchen Rosemary Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Pizza recipe
California Pizza Kitchen Rosemary Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Pizza recipe

Ingredients for the Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 5 ounces each)
3 teaspoons of minced fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons of soy sauce
3 tablespoons of olive oil

Instructions for the Chicken
Combine the garlic, soy sauce and olive oil, and marinate the chicken breasts in the mixture for about 15 minutes. Discard the leftover marinade.

Heat a pan on your stovetop, or heat up your grill. Grill the chicken breasts for about 5 minutes on each side, and remove from heat. Allow the chicken to cool before cutting them into 1/2 or 3/4-inch cubes. Set aside or refrigerate.

California Pizza Kitchen Rosemary Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Pizza recipe

Ingredients for the Garlic-Shallot Butter
2 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 tablespoons of minced shallots (1-2 cloves)
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon of dried thyme (1/2 teaspoon, fresh and chopped)
1/8 teaspoon of salt
A pinch of ground pepper
3 tablespoons of chardonnay or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon of chicken base or 1/2 a bouillon cube

Instructions for the Garlic-Shallot Butter
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and thyme, and cook until the mixture is light brown.

Add the salt, pepper, wine/chicken broth, lemon juice and chicken base and turn the heat down to low. When the mixture begins to reduce, remove from heat and add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. Whisk thoroughly until the butter is melted. Set aside for later, but do not refrigerate.

California Pizza Kitchen Rosemary Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Pizza recipe

Ingredients for the Pizza
Pizza dough for one pizza -- I used store-bought and had to let it sit at room temperature for an hour
3/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon of dried rosemary (or 1 teaspoon, fresh)
3/4 teaspoon of dried oregano (or 1 1/2 teaspoons, fresh and chopped)
A handful of mushrooms, sliced (I used baby portabella)

Instructions for the Pizza
Follow the preheat instructions of your store-bought pizza dough, or your pizza dough recipe. Mine was about 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat your baking sheet with cooking spray or a light coating of flour or cornmeal to prevent sticking.

Spread the garlic-shallot butter over the top of the pizza dough, avoiding the edges. Cover the butter with the shredded mozzarella. Distribute the chicken cubes evenly over the cheese, and sprinkle the rosemary and oregano over the chicken.

Place the potatoes about 1 inch apart over the surface of the pizza, and sprinkle your mushrooms atop or in between the potatoes. Transfer the pizza to your baking sheet and bake for 8 to 12 minutes, until the crust is golden and the cheese at the center is bubbling. Remove from oven and serve.

California Pizza Kitchen Rosemary Chicken, Potato and Mushroom Pizza recipe

So, so delicious. I couldn't imagine this pizza without the portabella mushrooms -- they added so much flavor and extra depth to the pizza. This was a time-consuming pizza, but once in a while, it's worth it!

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