After a long, weary flight from New York back to Salt Lake airport, we were eager to have a quiet evening. We had just spent 5 days with our family in Western New York over spring break. Now I know what you’re thinking it is NOT New York City – we are talking fields, farms and countryside. Rochester, New York is the place I call home. I had spent the last 18 months there and going back was felt like I never left.
The masses of open fields, with bare trees marked the landscape of Rochester. The spring flowers and lush green leaves were still due to bloom, shying away from the early spring chill. Out in the open fields, every so often we would spot a quaint 19th century style home – all white planks with a red door. An abundance of horses and sheeps dotted the farmland. Driving down to Palmyra, we went past small antique or vintage stores that would sell their local produce. There was hardly anyone walking down the streets. The tall lamps and bright colors gave the little towns we drove past a robust, energetic feeling. It reminded me of the books I used to read like “Little Woman” dating back to old English towns.
Rochester is a city that time travels you back to the 19th century.
It was definitely good to be home in the Far West land of Utah where mountains, drier climates and blazing sun welcomed us. We hurried over to a nearby restaurant tucked under a student dorm for a quick dinner. Young couples and friends huddled over long wooden tables to enjoy there large slabs of pizza dripping with cheese, hot sauce, pepperoni. The smell of freshly baked pizza filled the air as we walked in. The wall had a variety of selections of delicious gourmet pizzas from – Rosemary Potato Bacon pizza to a Green Curry Thai Eggplant pizza. Other options included pesto chicken, Enchilada chicken pizza with sour cream and salsa, Hawaiian pizza with extra sausage or a more tradition goat cheese, thyme, mushroom pizza was on the menu for tonight. After many questions and lots of pondering (I could honestly take a whole hour), Zoe and I settled on a Mexican Pulled Pork pizza with salsa and cilantro (no sour cream or cheese of course) on top of their signature gluten free thin crust base, accompanied with a Thai cucumber peanut salad.
We awaited eagerly for our meal to arrive. I watched as the servers brought freshly baked pizza to people around us. Their pizza looked so good. I started questioning if I had made the right selection for pizza. But all doubts went away as I took my first bite into that pizza.
and..oh.. to say I was shocked would be an understatement. The crust was thin, slightly chewy but very crisp. The pulled pork was succulent flavorful and sweet with a fresh edge from the cilantro. It was a rather ingenious combination because the juiciness and the heartiness of the pork made up for the lack of cheese or sour cream (basically a sauce base) on the pizza. I was expecting it to be rather dry but it was absolutely on point. Stunning. Addicting. Heavenly.
I had to recreate it. Had to. So are you ready for a stunning recreation? I bet you are!
We spent AGES surfing the internet to find a good paleo crust (preferably one made from tapioca starch to give it that crispier but soft texture). We sifted through many different ones, and poured over comments and ratings, debated (and arguing) over which ones we liked..and just as I thought we were getting nowhere.. Finally! We picked Primal Palate’s nut-free pizza crust which had the least amount of oil, but also a good amount of rave reviews that got us hooked. We also discovered a beautiful, delicious looking pulled chicken recipe that look absolutely to die for in the photos. Now we were all set.
After hours of braising the meat and sifting, measuring, rolling, watching it rise in the oven, it was done. My first bite into the pizza and I have to say it was a complete success.
The Verdict: The crust was crispier and slightly soft in the middle from the sauce that was soaked into the pizza. The Mexican pulled chicken had a kick from chill powder and diced green chili (which by the way is delicious, you can get it in a can) which was balanced with the sweetness from the peach mango salsa. It could really rival the slab pizza. We will definitely will be making this again. What do you think?
Ingredients – Serves 2-3
Crust: Adapted from Primalpalate
- 1 1/4 cup Tapioca Starch (divided : 1 cup and 1/4 cup)
- 1/6 cup Coconut flour
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder1/2 tsp Sea salt
- 1/2 tsp Oregano
- 1/4 tsp Onion powder
- 1/4 tsp Garlic powder/minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/8 cup water
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
Filling: Adapted from 24carrotkitchen
- 1 lb Chicken Breast
- 1/2 cup Peach-Mango Salsa (MILD SALSA)
- 4 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1 12oz can Tomatillo (originally calls for a 14.5 oz can diced can diced tomato)
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder/minced garlic
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp liquid smoke (optional, recommended)
- 1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper powder (optional)
How to Make:
- For the Crust: Preheat oven to 350F. Place the baking tray in the oven whilst the oven is preheating to heat up like a pizza stone.
- Mix together 1 cup of tapioca starch and all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
- Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the beaten eggs. Slowly add in the water and mix together until it starts to resemble a dough.
- Add in the remaining 1/4 cup tapioca starch slowly (as needed), kneading to stretch the dough. This will help to bring the dough together. Form the dough into a ball.
- Prepare a parchment paper. Place the dough in the center and carefully press into the shape of a pizza crust. Use your hands to press outwards. (you can rub coconut oil on your hands to help create a smooth surface as you work with your dough, I used a little water instead). Keep working until you obtain your desired shape. The curst should be 3/8″ thick and the sides should be slightly thicker than the center.
- Transfer the parchment paper to the heated making tray. Bake for 10 mins. Take out and remove the tray and bake the crust just on the parchment paper to help you get that crispier texture. This will take another 5-10 minutes until the bottom is slightly brown. Allow it to cook slightly.
- For the filling: Place chicken breast in a slow cooker.
- Mix all the remaining ingredients together. Add half the amount into the slow cooker over the chicken and mix well. Slow cook on high for 2-4 hours OR 6-7 hours on low.
- Pour the remaining half the amount of the marinade into a pan bring to a slow boil. Turn off the heat. Add in the pulled chicken and mix. (this is just to add moisture and flavor to your chicken).
- Assembling: Scoop your warm pulled chicken on top of your pizza leaving a border. We only used half the amount and reserved the other half for sandwiches, salads, burrito bowls. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro. Serve warm whilst crust and chicken is still warm.
If using medium salsa and chipotle pepper, add 1 more tbsp coconut sugar
Zoe & Mia
(This Post is Featured on: Monday Fundays)