Sunday, September 19, 2010

Good Till The Last Bite

I'm dead right now. I had a very difficult triathlon today, the bike course was described as "gently rolling hills". More like the Peaks of Hell! My quads are fried but i got 1st in my age group because i was the only girl my age with enough balls to take on the race. Anyways i need to talk ab out something delicious i discovered yesterday at the Iron Bridge Wine Company in Warrenton, Virginia.

This restaurant is pretty frigging good. They had a delicious cheese plate of blue cheese, a hard white Cheddar, and some sort of medium hard cheese; partnered with slice green apples crispy nutty crackers and delicious crusty bread.

However the cheese plate is not why I have taken such a liking to this place, it was the Chicken and Red Grape Pizza. I saw it on the menu and knew i needed to eat it.
This personal gourmet pizza was exquisite. The chicken was tender and juicy, the juicy hot grapes bursted in my mouth with their caramelized sugars flirting with my taste-buds. Underneath these tantalizing toppings was a sheet of perfectly melted Gruyere cheese on top of a thin tender pizza crust. I enjoyed it to the last bite which in my opinion is the goal of a chef. Anyone can get someone to love the first bite but it takes talent to get someone to enjoy a dish just as much till the last bite.

I've formulated what i figure is the closest recipe ill get to this glorious dish.

Chicken and Red Grape Pizza:
[You can use a thin 6" frozen pizza crust if preferred]
-1 tbs. sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt, kosher
-1/2 tbs. pure olive oil
-1/3 c. warm water
-1 c. bread flour
-1 tsp instant yeast
-an extra tsp. olive oil
-1 chicken breast
-12 seedless red grapes
-2 or 3 oz. crumpled Gruyere cheese
-1 tsp. snipped chives
-1/4 tsp. pepper
In a large bowl place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, flour, and yeast. [you can use an electric mixer on low for this.] Combine until the dough just forms into a ball. Dump onto a floured surface and knead for 15-25 mins. Form a smooth ball and place in a glass bowl. Pour in the extra tsp. of olive oil and toss the dough to coat. Cover in plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1-2 hours, or until double in size.
Meanwhile, cut the chicken breast into very small, bite size cubes. Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the saute pan. Gently saute with a pinch of salt, half a pinch of pepper, and 1 tsp lemon juice.
Preheat the hotbox [with the pizza stone on the lower rack] to 425 F

Mold the dough into a 6" pizza crust; form a rim to keep the toppings in; brush with olive oil. Crumple the Gruyere evenly on the crust. Sprinkle on the pepper. Distribute the grapes and chicken bites, evenly covering the pizza.
Place pizza on the hot pizza stone. Bake for 15-20 mins, until golden brown crust and the cheese is melty and bubbly.

Cut into fourths; sprinkle with chives and dig in.

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