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Salsa Verde Chicken Pizza
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Salsa Verde Chicken Pizza

This recipe knocks out two dinners in one day: Slow cooker shredded chicken, which is great in tacos, and Salsa Verde Chicken Pizza.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time3 hrs 17 mins
Total Time3 hrs 47 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican
Keyword: chicken pizza, Mexican-inspired pizza
Makes: 1 (12- to 14-inch) pizza
Cost: $20

Equipment

  • Cutting board and knife
  • slow cooker
  • large rimmed baking sheet
  • Food processor
  • Rolling pin (optional)
  • Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
  • Pizza peel (optional)

Ingredients

For the shredded chicken (makes about 3 cups)

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 bottle lager or other light beer
  • 2 cups Salsa Verde (homemade or store-bought)
  • Juice of 1 lime

for the salsa verde (makes 3 cups)

  • 2 pounds tomatillos, husked
  • 2 serrano chiles (or 3 if you like it hot)
  • 1 poblano chile
  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt or coarse sea salt
  • ¾ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice

For the pizza

  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
  • 5 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • ½ to ⅔ cup shredded cooked chicken (use the recipe that follows, or shred the meat of a store-bought rotisserie chicken)
  • ½ cup salsa verde (use the recipe that follows or your favorite store-bought version)
  • 2 scallions, white and light green parts sliced
  • 1 (2.5-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

To make the shredded chicken

  • Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper and arrange them in the bottom of a slow cooker. Scatter the onion over top, sprinkle in the cumin, and then pour in the beer, salsa, and lime juice. Using tongs, stir the braising mixture and turn the chicken to coat.
  • Cook for 3 hours on high heat or 7 hours on low heat, until the chicken falls apart easily. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and shred using two forks.

To make the salsa verde

  • Preheat the broiler to high with a rack set close to the broiler.
  • Rinse the tomatillos under warm water to remove any stickiness, then arrange them on a rack in a broiler pan along with the serrano chiles, poblanos, and garlic cloves. Broil the vegetables for about 7 minutes, flipping them halfway through, until they are softened and partly charred.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the broiled vegetables to a cutting board. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the garlic cloves and trim and seed the chiles.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, combine the tomatillos, garlic, chiles, onion, and salt. Process until smooth, then stir in the cilantro and lime juice. The salsa will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.

To make the pizza

  • Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes. Then, if you’re using a baking stone or steel, switch the oven to Broil on high.
  • Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
  • Spoon the salsa onto the dough and spread it evenly, leaving a 1/2-inch border of dough. Sprinkle the shredded chicken over the sauce, followed by all but 2 tablespoons of the scallions and all of the olives. Top the pizza with all but 2 tablespoons of the crumbled cheese.
  • Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
  • Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for at least 5 minutes. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of scallions and queso fresco over top, then the cilantro. Slice and serve.