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Kitchen Mailbox Countdown to Dinner Dining
Countdown to Dinner: Chicken Pizza makes tasty meal

Monday, November 20, 2000

Tested by Nancy Anderson

Karen Richardson of Mt. Lebanon makes up a lot of her own recipes, such as today's Countdown selection, Boboli Chicken Pizza.

"I'm a stay-at-home mom so I do a lot of cooking, which I enjoy because I love to cook," she said. She's even been successful at copying recipes from her favorite restaurants.

"But there are days when I just don't have time to make a big dinner," she said. "Then I do this quick recipe, especially for my husband."

Husband Pierce is a real estate lawyer with Kirkpatrick and Lockhart. He often works long hours but can look forward to a hot, tasty dinner no matter how late it is.

"I don't care if it's 9 or 10 o'clock when he gets home," said the mother of Benjamin, 12, Brian, 9, and Dan, 6. "I'll still have something good for him to eat."

Lucky man. If Boboli Chicken Pizza is an indication of what she whips up in a hurry, what must the normal fare taste like?

This pizza is a delicious entree with gourmet appeal. It can stand on its own, if you don't feel like making anything else. Karen likes to serve it with a Caesar salad of croutons, Parmesan cheese, toasted pinenuts and a good-quality bottled Caesar dressing.

Being lazy, we bought a bagged Super Caesar salad at the supermarket the day we made the pizza, but ate the leftovers by themselves for dinner the next night.

For a change from the usual turkey leftover recipes, we may make it with turkey on Friday, sprinkling stuffing and cranberry relish on top -- and of course mozzarella.

Boboli Chicken Pizza

1 large Boboli shell
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 or 3 boneless chicken breasts halves, pounded
1 clove garlic, minced
3 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced (*see note)
1 to 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (we used 1 cup)
Optional: fresh basil from the garden in the summer

Preheat oven 425 degrees.

Pound chicken breasts between plastic wrap and cut into bite-size pieces. Brown in 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until no longer pink.

While chicken is cooking, stir together remaining tablespoon of oil and minced garlic.

Place shell on cookie sheet, brush garlicky oil on Boboli shell, top with chicken, tomatoes (or artichokes and red peppers) and cheese. Bake 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is bubbly and hot.

Note: You can substitute artichokes or roasted red peppers for the tomatoes.

Tester's note: Tomatoes being what they are at this time of year, we used both her recommended substitutions -- 3 artichoke hearts (canned), drained and chopped, and 1 whole, jarred, roasted red pepper, patted dry with a paper towel and chopped.

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