Recipe of the Month: Mozz-Prov Chicken & Pesto

Ingredients

1 12” prebaked pizza crust
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 boneless, skinless split chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 medium red or orange bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/3 c. prepared pesto
1½ c. mozzarella-provolone blend, shredded
(Variation: Try using a shredded mozzarella/smokedprovolone blend.)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a skillet, heat the olive oil at medium-high. Add chicken and sauté until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the peppers and onions and continue to sauté until browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the pesto. Place pizza crust on a pizza pan or large baking sheet. Spoon the chicken mixture onto the crust and top with the cheese blend. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Pleased With Cheese

Call it a happy accident—Wisconsin’s cheese industry was born in the mid-19th century after depleted soil and insect infestations ruined the state’s wheat crops. Farmers turned to raising cows instead, and immigrants from countries like Germany and Switzerland quickly put cheese making methods from the Old Country to work. Today, pizzerias around the country pride themselves on offering high-quality Wisconsin cheese from “America’s Dairyland.” Here are a few of them:

Buddy’s Restaurant & Pizzeria (buddyspizza.com), a Detroit mainstay, serves the Detroiter, made with Wisconsin brick cheese, pepperoni, and tomato-and-basil sauce, then finished off with shaved Parmesan and a Sicilian spice blend.

In last year’s “50 States, 50 Pizzas” list, Zagat.com singled out the Green and Gold Pizza at Wild Tomato Wood-Fired Pizza and Grille (wildtomatopizza.com) in Fish Creek, Wisconsin. It features roasted chicken, bacon, grilled broccoli, spinach and Wisconsin cheese curds.

At NYPD Pizza Delivery (nypdpizza.com), with three stores in Cincinnati, the Crimebuster is billed as “the mother of all pizzas.” It’s topped with pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, ham, mushrooms, onions, green olives and green peppers, all smothered under a blanket of Wisconsin mozzarella and provolone.

The signature Polish Pizza at Mau’s Haus Pub & Grille (maushauspubandgrill.com), a single-unit operation located in Orangeville, Illinois, boasts Wisconsin cheese, cooked cabbage, sausage, onions and green peppers. According to the pizzeria’s website, the specialty pie is “worth the 60-minute wait!”