I happened to bring home another, as yet unmentioned souvenir from Hamburg. A recipe! Unfortunately, this is not a recipe for Deutsche cuisine, but for Italian, by way of the USA.
I met a variety of wonderful people during my travels, one of who, was an American student studying in Leipzig. His name was Dillan Prince, and he was using a few days off to tour Germany and see the sights. Dillan was staying in my dorm in Hamburg, and during an evening in the bar of the hostel, he mentioned that he worked in the kitchens of a pizza restaurant during the weekend, to fund his studies. This inevitably progressed into an in-depth conversation regarding favourite toppings (personally, anything with pine nuts), types of bases, and whether it’s ok to eat cold pizza for breakfast (it is, imho).
Dillan said that at the restaurant in which he works, There is a shredded chicken, bacon and spinach pizza, which to me sounded absolutely to die for. The pizza includes 2 different kinds of cheeses, but he also said that when he is making it for himself, his secret trick is to crumble boursin onto it just before sliding into the oven.
I have never heard of putting a soft, spreadable cheese like boursin onto a pizza, and I couldn’t quite work out how it would taste on a pizza. Of course, I would definitely have to try this when I returned to old Blighty.
Unfortunately, on the day that I corralled all of the ingredients together, I could not find spinach! Undeterred, I continued with my cooking. If it turned out to be a taste sensation, I’d pick up spinach for next time.
The Prince of Pizzas
2 pizza bases – handmade or shop bought (mine were bought)
tomato pizza sauce, again handmade or shop bought (I reduced down a home-made, meatless pasta sauce until it was the consistency and texture that I required)
125g mozzarella, thinly sliced
75g hard white cheese, thinly sliced, of your choosing – Dillan recommended fontina I think, but I couldn’t pick it up in my local supermarket, sadly.
1 chicken breast
100g chopped pancetta or bacon
30g pine nuts, toasted – I couldn’t hope to complete this dish without adding my favourite ingredient!
50g boursin (I used the black pepper variety, although others are available)
olive oil and seasonings
1) In order to prepare the shredded chicken, I seasoned a chicken breast with salt and pepper, wrapped it in foil and baked it in the oven at 190C for 30 mins. Once the breast had been removed from the oven, I left it covered for at least 10 minutes, to make sure the meat stayed moist.
2)I fried off the chopped pancetta over a low heat in one pan, whilst also lightly toasting the pine nuts in a second pan. Once both of these ingredients were cooked, I set them to one side.
3) Once the chicken had cooled, I shredded it between two dining forks. I was then ready to start assembling my pizzas!
4) I applied a generous spoonful of the tomato sauce to each base and spread it evenly across the pizza. I was worried that the edges might dry out too quickly, so I lightly brushed them with olive oil. I then layered up my pizza, starting with the mozzarella and hard cheese, then the chicken, then the pancetta, then the pine nuts.
5) Just before putting the pizzas into the oven, I used a teaspoon to drop little chunks of boursin liberally across the top of the pizza. I then placed the completed works of art in the centre of the oven at 200C for 9 minutes.
The results were utterly divine. The boursin melted and browned slightly on the top, whilst also melting through the layers to mix with the other cheeses below. Shredding the chicken was a good touch too, it virtually melted in the mouth! I shall definitely be making this one again, and I may well add spinach leaves, although I don’t want to meddle with such a good-tasting pizza too much.
Thanks for the tip Dillan!