Pizza with Brie, Pancetta, Leeks and Apple (French Pig Pizza)

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This could be one of my all-time faves. It’s got Brie, which checks off my need for cheese. It’s got pancetta, that’s sauteed up nice and crispy and adds a salty crunch. It’s got homemade pizza dough, another favorite. And it adds some savory yumminess with leeks and a spike of tartness from the apple. Top with balsamic drizzle. Oh yes. Thanks to Guy Fieri for this awesome recipe from his cookbook “Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It.”

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This was awesome fresh out of the oven as well as reheated. How gorgeous is that?

TW’s Tips

  • If you reheat the leftovers, highly recommend using the oven or a toaster oven versus the microwave so you still get some crunch. The microwave makes it all chewy.
  • I bought the pizza dough pre-made at Whole Foods, but you could choose to make it yourself. Trader Joe’s also sells a frozen dough.
  • I bought the pancetta pre-diced which made my life much easier. If you don’t, make sure you buy it from the deli (it’s got to be a nicer deli that sells pancetta) and have the butcher thick slice it for you. Traditionally pancetta will be sliced really thin and you don’t want that here.
  • The better the cheese, the better the pizza. Amen to that.

Pizza with Brie, Pancetta, Leeks and Apple (French Pig Pizza)

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
  • 2 cups leek matchsticks (2 by 1/4 inch, white and light green parts only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 Granny Smith or similar tart, firm apple, peeled and cut into 2 by 1/4-inch matchsticks
  • One 10-ounce ball pizza dough
  • 4 to 5 ounces Brie cheese with rind, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Balsamic vinegar for drizzling
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Directions

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil. Add the pancetta and cook until just crisp. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate. Remove all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the skillet and add the leeks. Sprinkle with the pepper and a pinch of salt and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the leeks start to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the apples and cook for 5 minutes more, until the apples are golden but not falling apart. Turn off the heat.

Stretch the dough into a round. Top with the apple and leek mixture, then the Brie.

Bake the pizza for 10 to 12 minutes, until the crust is golden. Sprinkle with the pancetta, drizzle with the vinegar and extra virgin olive oil, slice and serve.

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Chutney and Cheddar-Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Oh yeah — recipe success! I made this delicious meal — Chutney and Cheddar-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with BLTPs (Bacon Leek Tomato Potatoes) — for dinner Wednesday night.

The recipe is from Rachael Ray’s “Big Orange Book.” I am a BIG Rachael Ray fan. Not so much of her as a person (she can be a little much, and her cooking show is annoying), but I’m a fan of her cookbooks (I have pretty much every single one) and her easy, reliable, yummy recipes. I’m a champ at following a recipe and she makes it pretty fool-proof.

TW’s tips for this recipe:

  • I used multicolored potatoes to give the BLTPs a bit more color.
  • I omitted chicken stock, which she called for as a finishing touch to the potatoes. I didn’t want to lose the crispy finish on the potatoes and felt like it would turn the whole dish into mush. So I took that part out of the recipe below.
  • I used mango chutney because I had some in the fridge, but I’d love to hear how this is with another kind!
  • I used top notch extra sharp Cabot cheddar — it makes all the difference. The sharpness of the cheese and the sweetness of the chutney, combined with the nice brown crust on the chicken was killer!
  • I cooked this on a night when it was way too hot to use the oven. Don’t do that. I hated myself. But I was much happier once I ate this meal.

Chutney and Cheddar-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with BLTPs (Bacon Leek Tomato Potatoes)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds red bliss, fingerling or baby Yukon gold potatoes, skin left on
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons prepared chutney
  • 8 slices sharp white cheddar
  • 4 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned and thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425ºF.

Place potatoes onto a baking sheet, drizzle them with a little EVOO and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss them to evenly coat and move them to one half your baking sheet. Roast them for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.

After 20 minutes, toss the tomatoes onto the empty half of the baking sheet, drizzle them with a little EVOO and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Return the pan to the oven and continue roasting another 20 minutes, turning the veggies occasionally but keeping them separate, until the potatoes are tender and the tomatoes have burst open.

Once the tomatoes go into the oven, place the chicken breasts onto a cutting board and cut a pocket into one side of each of them using a paring knife. Spread about 1 tablespoon of chutney and place 2 slices of cheddar inside the pocket of each. Season the outside of each breast with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Place a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon, and sear the chicken breasts in the large pan until golden brown, 3-4 minutes per side.

Once the chicken is seared on both sides, transfer them to the oven to finish cooking, about 5-6 minutes (if your pan is oven-safe, just put the whole pan in the oven. Otherwise put the meat onto a baking sheet before moving it to the oven).

Once the chicken goes into the oven, place another large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the bacon and cook, about 2-3 minutes. Once the bacon starts to brown, add the leeks and cook until tender, another 4-5 minutes.

When the vegetables have finished roasting, transfer them to the skillet with the bacon and leeks. Season everything with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Serve up the cooked chicken breasts with a scoop of BLTPs alongside.