Tuesday’s special: Chicken fajita pizza

Almost $1.9 million in state funds would be cut from UW-Eau Claire's budget next year if a plan proposed by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee passes.

Almost $1.9 million in state funds would be cut from UW-Eau Claire's budget next year if a plan proposed by the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee passes.

Story by Tuesday Wustrack

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Everybody needs a night off. I love going out, but sometimes a nice night of R&R with the girls is necessary. A stereotypical girls’ night consists of eating junk food, painting nails, doing hair and playing truth or dare.

My friend from high school recently came up to visit, and we decided to update the typical girls’ night and make a fancy dinner with my roommates. Instead of ordering Toppers, we got creative and made chicken fajita pizza. My friend’s mom found it in a small Pillsbury brochure and coupon book. It has everything you would want in a pizza — chicken, vegetables, spices and cheese all on top of a flaky crust.

When we were looking at the recipe, I was nervous. It looks complicated but there are a few tips that will make the pizza easier and yummier.

 

1.  Mold the pizza crust to fun shapes. My roommate has a heart-shaped baking pan. Why wouldn’t we use that? It was girls’ night, after all.

2. The recipe says to thinly slice onions with a grater and to “press” a garlic clove. Keep it simple. I just sliced the onions thinly with a big knife and cut the garlic into tiny pieces. You don’t have to follow every instruction exactly when it comes to cooking. Do what you like. After all, you’re the one who will be eating it.

3. Add or nix anything to the mix. I don’t like red or green peppers, but I like the sweeter and milder flavor of orange peppers. So I substituted those. I love refried beans, so we spread some on the dough as if it were the sauce. It was delicious! A few other ingredients to add as toppings: lettuce, sour cream, olives and pieces of tortilla chips.

4. Add more or less ingredients. The picture that accompanied the recipe had just a sprinkle of cheese, but we covered the pizzas with a thick layer. Yum!

 

We put it in the oven for about 15 minutes. When we pulled it out, my friends and I couldn’t wait for it to cool. We cut into it right away. I was willing to burn my tongue in the process of tasting the spicy and meaty meal.

With a quick look, our concoction appears to be any regular pizza, but once you smell the spices and cut into it, you can experience all the wonderfulness of the chicken fajita pizza.

Eating a real and somewhat healthy meal may be hard to come by when you’re a busy college student, but I’ve found that relaxing with some friends and good food is well worth the time.

 

The recipe: 

1 tablespoon oil

2 whole chicken breasts, skinned, boned and cut into squares or strips

1 garlic clove, pressed

1-2 teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup onion, thinly sliced

1 cup green or red bell pepper strips

1 package (10 oz.) Pillsbury Refrigerated All Ready Pizza Crust

½ cup mild salsa or picante sauce

2 cups (8 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

 

Heat oil in stir-fry skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add chicken; stir-fry five minutes or until lightly browned. Press garlic with garlic press. Stir in garlic, chili powder, and salt. Thinly slice onions using grater-slicer. Add onions and bell pepper; stir-fry an additional one minute or until vegetables are crisp-tender.

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 15-inch baking stone with vegetable oil spray. Unroll dough and place on stone. Starting at center, roll dough into 14-inch circle using dough and pizza roller. Par-bake dough eight to 10 minutes. Spoon chicken mixture over par-baked crust. Spoon salsa over chicken; sprinkle with cheese. Bake 15 to 18 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Makes six to eight servings.