Recipe of the Month: Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

Ingredients:

20 oz.-24 oz. pizza dough ball
2 garlic cloves, crushed or pressed
1 tbsp. olive oil
10 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 oz. applewood smoked bacon
4 oz. shredded chicken—rotisserie, tenders or wings
2 oz. ranch dressing
2 oz. Buffalo sauce for drizzling or dipping (optional)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 550°F. Prepare toppings and set aside. Sauté bacon until browned and remove from pan before it turns crisp. Drain bacon on paper towels, then cut into 1” slices. Shred chicken meat. (For Buffalo style, toss chicken with your favorite Buffalo sauce.)

Toss, stretch, roll or press pizza dough into desired size. Spread with olive oil and crushed/pressed garlic, then add mozzarella. Top with shredded chicken and bacon. Bake in oven until mozzarella begins to bubble and bubbles show a hint of brown. Remove from oven and drizzle with Ranch dressing. (For a Buffalo-style Chicken Bacon Ranch pizza, serve with more Buffalo sauce for drizzling or dipping.)

The Chicken Connection

Whether it’s served in a warm soup with noodles or fried Kentucky-style to finger-lickin’ perfection, chicken is a go-to meat for countless dishes, including a wide variety of pizzas. Nearly every part of this barnyard bird is edible—let’s hear it for pickled gizzards!—and its mild flavor profile easily adapts to nearly every cuisine. Check out these examples of chicken pizzas from around the country:

Famous for their wings, the folks at La Nova Pizzeria (lanova-pizzeria.com) in Buffalo, New York, have been working wonders with chicken for more than half a century. Their Chicken Finger Pizza comes with a spicy crust and a blue cheese base, topped with La Nova chicken fingers, Fontinella cheese and mozzarella.

Seattle-based Soprano’s Pizza & Pasta (sopranos-pizza.com) serves “pizza you can’t refuse,” including the Marshall’s Polo, a red-sauce pie made with chicken, Gorgonzola cheese, fresh basil, capers and mozzarella.

With stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Hawaii, Russo’s New York Pizzeria (nypizzeria.com) offers the Chicken Rustica, featuring grilled chicken, organic spinach, feta cheese, Roma tomatoes, fresh basil, mozzarella cheese and garlic with an extra-virgin olive oil sauce.

The Founder’s Pie at Boca Raton, Florida-based Pizza Fusion (pizzafusion.com) comes topped with free-range chicken, Kalamata olives, roasted red onions and a blend of four cheeses: Parmesan, mozzarella, provolone and Gorgonzola.