Monday, February 20, 2012

Secret Recipe Club: Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Chicken, Sweet Onion and Bacon

 It's time for another episode of the Secret Recipe Club!  I always look forward it!  For those who don't know, the Secret Recipe Club is like secret Santa for bloggers.  We are assigned a blog and we get to snoop around for something delicious to make, then we get to blog about it.  This is only my third time participating, and I have to say, I've been really lucky with the blogs I've been assigned.  They've all been amazing.

This month I got the Cafe Sucre Farine.  I had such a hard time trying to decide what to make.  There are so many wonderful recipes on the site. And don't even get me started on the photography!  The pictures are seriously drool-worthy.  At one point, I wanted to lick my monitor.  I had a long list of favorite recipes that I couldn't choose between, so I let my kiddos make the decision.  I was really surprised with what they chose.  I expected a dessert or some yummy treat.  Never in my wildest imaginings did I think they would choose a pizza topped with strawberries.  This Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Chicken, Sweet Onion and Bacon was on my short list of recipes to try, so I was really happy!

The next thing I did was tell my hubby what I was making.  He gave a little grimace and in his most skeptical voice said, "You're really going to make a pizza with strawberries on it?".  I just told him to trust me and started cooking.  When it was finished, I brought him a plate of this beautiful pizza.  He looked, sniffed, then bit.  A minute or two later I caught him coming from the kitchen with a second piece.  By the time he'd eaten his third piece I was laughing right out loud.  He then proceeded to tell me that I'm not allowed to make this pizza when the kids are home.  He doesn't want to have to share it next time.

I can't say enough good about this pizza.  It was fabulous!  The flavors were perfect together.  The salty bacon and sweet/tart strawberries complimented each other in the most unique ways.  Next time I'm going to try grilling it and see what happens.  Now I won't keep you waiting any longer, here is your ticket to culinary delight!

Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Chicken, Sweet Onion and Bacon
Serves about 4-6
1/2 cup strawberry jam or preserves  (My kids ate most of the strawberry jam, so I used a mixture of strawberry and currant)
1/4cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Siracha Chili Sauce
1 ball pizza dough, your favorite or the recipe below also from Cafe Sucre Farine
1 cup diced or shredded chicken breast, from rotisserie chicken or left over chicken of any kind
1/2 cup apple wood smoked bacon, cut in 1 inch pieces, cooked and drained ( I used thick cut hickory smoked bacon)
1/2 cup thin sliced sweet onion
12 ounces shredded Italian blend cheese
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, diced small

Place pizza stone or sheet pan on middle rack of oven. If you don't have a pizza stone you can use a cookie sheet turned upside down.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until reduced to half of the original volume and mixture is thick and syrupy. This step is very important.  You don't want thin runny sauce.  Add strawberry preserves and Siracha and mix well. Set aside to cool.

Pat or roll out pizza dough on a lightly floured surface to approximately a 14 inch circle. Shape does not have to be perfect, this is a rustic pizza. Place a piece of parchment paper, slightly larger than your dough on a pizza peel or an upside down sheet pan. (The parchment paper will make your transfer of the pizza to the oven infinitely easier!) Sprinkle parchment paper lightly with cornmeal. Fold dough in quarters and place on parchment paper, then unfold.

Combine chicken with 2 tablespoons of the balsamic-strawberry mixture and mix to coat all chicken with sauce. Pour rest of sauce onto pizza dough and spread to cover. Leave a 1 inch border all around the edge. Scatter chicken evenly over the sauce.

 Place about 3/4 of the cheese on top of dough and spread to cover sauce evenly. Scatter  bacon and sweet onion over cheese to distribute evenly. Scatter remaining cheese over this layer.

Slide parchment paper with pizza on top onto stone or cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Watch carefully, at this temperature it is easy to burn the pizza!

Remove from oven and let cool slightly, 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and fresh diced strawberries. Serve and enjoy!

Pizza Dough
Makes 2 12" pizzas

1 ½ cups warm water, 105-115 degrees (use a thermometer)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast, (one 1/4-oz. packet)
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit until foamy, 5-10 minutes. Mix flours and salt in bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  Add oil to yeast mixture and pour yeast mixture into flour mixture, then knead on low speed for 10 minutes (or the same amount of time if kneading by hand). Dough will be elastic and slightly sticky.

2. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

3. Punch dough down and divide in 2 pieces. Proceed with pizza recipe above.

Makes 2 pizza crusts.


  1. Hello from The Café Sucré Farine! Thanks so much for all your kind words - I'm so glad you all enjoyed the pizza, that part about your husband really made me laugh! You have a wonderful blog and lots of great recipes! It will be fun to check it out! Thanks again!

  2. This sounds really, really ridiculously appetizing! I wonder what it would taste like with apples and a bit of the apple balsamic syrup I have? O lord! I have to get in the kitchen quick with this one!

  3. I would never think to pair this together in a pizza...looks absolutely wonderful! I adore strawberries and balsamic!

  4. Great choice for SRC, this looks so delicious! So glad to be in Group C with you! :)

  5. The first thing I said to myself was "Strawberries need to come into season soon!" Once I can get my hands on some local ones, I am going to give this a try, we are intrigued!

  6. What an interesting combination of flavors - I bet it was super tasty. Glad to be part of SRC group C with you!!

  7. What a unique recipe...I love it. Pinning to make one weekend soon! Great to be in Group C with you!!

  8. What an unusual combination of ingredients. I have never tried to make pizza doesn't sound as complicated as I had made it! Intriguing SRC recipe.

  9. What a gourmet sounding pizza! Has Wolfgang Puck heard of this? I am sure it will be on his menus as soon as he does. This really sounds yummy! Can't wait for strawberry season!

  10. Fun post, the husband part. I need to make this one to taste the strawberries, interesting combination of flavors!

  11. What interesting combinations! I love making new pizza combinations. Maybe I can sneak this one into our next Friday homemade pizza night!

  12. The title immediately intrigued and after reading your rave reviews, especially from the skeptical hubby I have to make this. Totally pinning it!

  13. Love this flavor combination...and I love homemade pizza so I can't wait to try this!

    Stopping by from SRC fellow group C blogger.

    Denise @ Creative Kitchen

  14. What a fantastic combo!

    Thanks so much for popping by my blog and seeing my entry this month too.

    Hope you stop by today and checkout a giveaway and a photography class I have going on :0)

  15. Ooooohhh husbands, when will they just trust our creative culinary minds?!?! ;) Your pizza does look truly delicious, great SRC post.

  16. Chris' blog is CRAZY good, I agree. Although I think you are so brave to go out on a Strawberry Pizza limb. My husband would have thought I was crazy. I have some berries in the fridge, maybe I should give it a try?

  17. Thanks for all your kind words. I personally think EVERYONE should try this pizza--its fabulous! It looks a little strange, but it's oh, so delicious. One of my favorites so far!

  18. Very delicious looking and sounding, I want to give this one a try.

    If you haven't already, I'd love for you to check out my Group 'A' SRC entry: Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites

    Cook Lisa Cook

  19. What a great, and unexpected combination! And you are right about the blog, it is fabulous. I have found so many recipes I want to try (did a few already - I highly recommend the avocado and apple salsa), and I wasn't even assigned to it yet!

  20. I can't wait to make this. There is nothing like homemade pizza, and this looks wonderful!

  21. Awesome, check out Gourmet Secrets's personal website made with

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    Gourmet Secrets



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