One of the things I never expected when I started blogging was all the “I wish I could cook like that” comments. I’ve always answered by saying, “You CAN! Maybe not today, but you sure can cook as well as you’d like.” I definitely didn’t start out cooking like I do now; this blog, with its four-and-a-half year history, should be all the proof you need. (If you don’t believe me, take a look back at my first post.) But, just like with all things, time, patience, practice, and a willingness to make mistakes along the way has brought improvements and confidence. What it has not brought is perfection or immunity from mistakes.
This pizza is proof of that. First of all, the recipe calls for perfectly cooked crispy bacon. Confession time–I am positively awful at cooking bacon. Puff pastry from scratch? No problem. But bacon? That’s a different matter entirely. Next, I failed to pull my frozen pizza dough from the freezer in time, so with my dad and niece over for dinner, M headed out for a pinch hit prepared crust from the grocery store. It wasn’t exactly the pizza experience I’d hoped for, but you know what? I got the bacon just right this time and we all enjoyed the pizza. In fact, my dad (not a big ranch dressing fan) even said it was really good and he couldn’t imagine how great it would be with homemade dough. A happy family sitting at the table eating together on a summer evening? I’d call that success–perfect pizza dough or not.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
slightly adapted from Pennies on a Platter
1/2 recipe pizza dough or prepared 12-in. crust
cornmeal, if using homemade dough
1/3 c. ranch dressing
3/4 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 c. cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
3/4 c. shredded cheddar cheese
4 slices bacon, cooked crisp, crumbled
1 tomato, seeded and diced small
1/4 cup sliced green onions, plus more for garnish, if desired
1. If using a pizza stone for homemade dough, place stone in lower third of oven. Heat oven and stone to
500 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Shape the pizza crust dough and
transfer to a pizza peel or sheet of parchment paper dusted with cornmeal. If using a prepared crust, follow package directions.
spread the ranch dressing over the pizza crust, leaving a 1-inch border
for the outer crust. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese, then layer on chicken, cheddar, bacon, tomatoes and green onions.
3. Slide pizza onto heated stone. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown. Let cool 2 minutes and garnish with additional green onions, if desired. Cut and serve. Serves 2-3.