We’re beginning to settle into our new place just nicely these days. I’m starting to cook a lot more, once again, and even getting back into the rhythm of creating new recipes for the site. I’ve been away far too long if you ask me. The very first thing we bought for our new home was a pizza stone, even before we got some of the more important things like a lamp or dining table. I wanted to make sure we had our pizza nights locked in. This is actually the first pizza stone I’ve ever owned. As a matter of fact, someone on instagram recommended it to me a long time ago and I immediately thought about their comment when I picked it up at the store. They were absolutely right, pizzas are 100 times better when cooked on this round ceramic pizza cooking contraption. It’s like magic. Like the future. It makes it so easy to achieve that artisan pizza taste and texture. (The following has been a PSA for Pizza Stones of America. Is that an actual thing? It totally should be).
Moving and unpacking has taught me that we’re all looking for quick and easy recipes that require little to no time in the kitchen. Sometimes we’re just too tired to whip up something fancy during the week, or we simply don’t have the time to devote ourselves to a meal that takes way too long to make. That’s okay. Instead of reaching for that take-out menu, though, we should be focusing on creating simple recipes that taste just as good (if not better) as the restaurant version. I’m always trying to come up with new and exciting ways to incorporate pizza into my daily life. If I had it my way, we’d be eating pizza every single night. Oh, different kinds of course. I mean I do have some standards. Pizza everyday for dinner just sounds like a dream come true, doesn’t it?
One easy way to turn a drab meal into something fun and exciting is by incorporating wine into the dish. Sure, wine is great to drink with dinner, but it’s also great to cook with! I’ve partnered up with Barefoot Wine to bring you this delicious Spinach, Garlic and Chicken Chardonnay White Pizza. It’ll change the way you think about pizza and wine forever! Get ready to eat the entire pizza by yourself, especially with the creamy white garlic sauce that gets slathered on top of it underneath all of that cheese and tasty toppings. Are you rethinking that “pizza every night” thing we talked about earlier? You should be.
We’re going to start by seasoning the chicken. To make things a little easier, I’m using chicken breast cutlets. They’re thinner which means they’ll cook up faster and I won’t have to be worrying if it’s fully cooked or not.
Season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, granulated onion and paprika.
**Note: Make sure to always use granulated garlic or granulated onion (or even garlic powder or onion powder) instead of garlic salt and onion salt. I don’t like using those because I feel like you can’t really control the amount of salt in each of them, plus I always use kosher salt so if I were to use garlic and onion salt as well, things would get super salt fast. End salt rant.**
Sear the chicken cutlets for about 5 minutes, over medium-high heat in a skillet with a bit of olive oil. Turn and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until both sides are browned and fully cooked through.
Transfer to a plate or platter and allow to rest for a few minutes before cutting. In the meantime, let’s sauté the spinach. I just wiped down the skillet I cooked the chicken in and added a tad more olive oil. Once hot again, I added the baby spinach leaves, whole. Cook until the spinach has wilted. Remove from heat and allow to cool down.
Okay, so two easy things out of the way. Not bad at all, right? We can totally cook up some chicken and wilt down baby spinach. We got this. We’re practically pros. No, scratch that. We’re better than pros.
Let’s now make the white garlic sauce, which to me, is the most important part of this recipe. Why? Because wine is involved, and whenever wine is involved, it has to be important. Sauté the chopped shallot and garlic cloves in a small pot over medium heat with olive oil.
Cook until the shallots have softened and the garlic has browned a bit.
**Note: I gave the garlic cloves a great big whack with the flat side of the knife to smash them down. It brings out their flavor. Keep an eye on the shallots and garlic while they sauté, making sure they don’t burn! They’ll turn on you super fast and before you know it, you just turned around for a glass of wine, and they’re burnt.**
Remove the garlic cloves and set them off to the side. Add the flour and stir, cooking for a few seconds to get rid of that raw flour taste.
As if things weren’t already dreamy enough, it’s time to add the most important ingredient, the wine. WINE people. I’m using a dry white wine. Barefoot’s Chardonnay to be exact. I highly recommend it because the flavor works so well with this sauce. Plus, it’s a great wine to drink while you cook and once the pizza is done as well!
**Note: Whenever you cook with wine, I suggest getting a bottle that you really enjoy drinking. Don’t think that just because you’re cooking with it, you should settle and pick up any ol’ bottle. If it’s something you don’t like to drink, then you won’t like the flavor of it in the dish either! Keep that in mind!**
Allow the wine to cook down a bit and reduce, about 2 to 4 minutes. Then slowly stream in the milk while you continue to whisk, making sure it get’s well incorporated.
Allow the sauce to come up to a bubble and thicken. Once thick, remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Then throw in some grated parmesan cheese, because we all know everything is better with cheese.
Whisk and set to the side. Let’s assemble the pizza now. Roll out the dough into a large thin circle.
**Note: If you want to make this dinner super fast, just use store bought pizza dough. It’ll save you so much time and effort! If you want to be adventurous, I do have a pizza dough post you can reflect on, get the recipe here!**
Spread the rolled dough with the sauce (as much or as little as you’d like). I loaded it up like my life depended on it. Don’t judge.
Cover the sauce with shredded mozzarella, fontina and parmesan cheese and then add the sliced chicken we cooked up earlier.
Top with the sautéd spinach and add that garlic we saved earlier from the sauce. It’ll add even more garlic flavor! Lastly, I like to sprinkle it all with a tiny bit more grated parmesan cheese. Always say yes to cheese. Once you accept that rule, you’ll be better off.
Bake in a super duper hot oven (about 425ºF) for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and crispy and the cheese is bubbly and melted on top.
**Note: I cooked my pizza on a super hot pizza stone! (I’m addicted, remember?) But if you don’t have one, you can just cook it on a pizza pan or baking sheet!**
You can finish it off with some fresh chopped basil if you’d like. I think it adds a little extra bit of freshness to the pizza, but also because Julian is growing a bunch of herbs for me on our balcony, so I figured I’d take advantage of it.
Disclaimer: This recipe is designed to make two medium pizzas, because HELLO TWO PIZZAS just sounds so much better than one. Even if you don’t think you want two, you should just make both because leftover cold pizza the next morning is the greatest thing on earth. I rolled out both pizza doughs, and then divided the sauce and toppings between the two. You can top the pizzas, bake one and then freeze the other (tightly with plastic wrap several times) and then pop it into the freezer for later. When you’re ready for pizza one night, just take it from the freezer to the oven and bake until golden brown and crispy! No need to thaw, although it’ll take a bit longer to bake, just a little.
I know that cooking with wine or alcohol in general is a scary thing for most people, and I completely understand that. Most of the time, I use the wine to create even more flavor, so if you ask me if the wine is absolutely necessary, I’m going to say yes because of the great flavor it adds to the dishes. You might not think it makes much of a difference but it actually does! The thing I love about Barefoot Wine is that they have a wide selection that is reasonably priced which makes it so great for cooking! The flavor is awesome! Enjoy this pizza!
(If you’re still hesitant, then I will reluctantly say you can omit the wine….but I’ll be very sad if you do. Just know you’ll be killing me softly if you don’t use wine in the sauce. No pressure at all though).
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 chicken breast cutlets
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
- ½ teaspoon granulated onion
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 4 cups baby spinach leaves
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup Barefoot Wine Chardonnay
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 2 prepared pizza dough
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded fontina cheese
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, sliced
- Place the chicken in a small bowl, and season with ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, granulated garlic, onion and paprika. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Place the seasoned chicken in the hot skillet and cook for about 5 minutes, or until brown. Flip chicken and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest. Slice, once cooled.
- Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and return to heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and throw in the baby spinach leaves. Sauté until wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- To make white wine sauce, Heat a saucepot over medium heat. Add butter and allow to melt. Sauté the minced shallot and smashed garlic cloves until the shallots have softened and the garlic has slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the garlic to a plate and set aside. Add the flour, stir and cook for a few seconds. Slowly stream in the Chardonnay, while you continue to whisk. Cook down for about 5 minutes. Stir in the whole milk and whisk until it bubbles and thickens. Remove from heat and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add ¼ cup grated parmesan and whisk once more.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Roll out both pizza dough into large thin circles, placing them on separate pizza pans or baking sheets. Divide the sauce between the two and spread evenly. Top each with shredded mozzarella, fontina and grated parmesan cheese, dividing each between both pizzas. Top with sliced chicken, sautéed spinach and that reserved garlic from earlier (chop it a bit before adding it to the pizzas).
- Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are golden brown and crispy and the top is bubbly and melted. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before cutting and serving. Serve with a tossed green salad and Barefoot Wine Chardonnay. Enjoy!
- yield: 2 medium pizzas