Next time a craving for pizza takes over skip the local pizza place, forget the boxed cardboard frozen stuff and make your own! Thick crust that is loaded with toppings, cheese and tomatoes. Baked to gooey perfection. Forget traditional crust and make this Chicago Deep Dish Pizza.
Where we live we are about 2 hours from many major cities. That means we can stay home or go visit Indianapolis, Detroit, Toledo (their craft beer scene is awesome~I highly suggest giving it a try) or Chicago. While we don’t hit Chicago very often we were able for a time to get real deep dish at a Gino’s East location that they had about a half hour from us in Granger, Indiana. Sadly though it closed. So it was up to make the thick pizza that I loved so much! Other than the sausage that comes on an authentic Gino’s East, which is amazing, I think I pulled it off a pretty good copycat.
Start off with your crust. This recipe is very similar to my White Chicken Pizza with Basil & Blackberry Sauce with the exception of reducing the flour and adding cornmeal to the dough. It gives it that crunchy texture that most deep dish pizzas have. Gather your ingredients….
Mix yeast, water & honey together. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 10 minutes. You should see bubbles are formed on the top of the water/yeast mixture. Now add the flour, honey & salt to the yeast mixture. Stir with a spatula then complete by hand. After it has formed a ball cover with 2 tsp. of olive oil. Put a towel over the bowl and let rise for 15-20 minutes.
Once the dough has risen uncover and place on a floured surface. Roll with a rolling pin to almost double the size of your pan so there is plenty to go around the deep edges of a greased springform pan. Place the dough into the pan cinching edges as not to overlap over the top of the pan. Brush crust with 2 Tbs. melted butter all over then place in a preheated 375 degree oven to bake for 8-10 minutes. Take out of the oven and now it’s time to load it up! Layer cheese, filling, more cheese then top with the drained tomatoes. It’s very important that the tomatoes are drained because you don’t want the juice making your crust soggy.
My filling is a combination of Italian sausage, hamburger, mushrooms, green peppers, olives, onions, garlic cloves mixed with Italian seasonings and tomato paste. I will put the full ingredients below but this is your pizza please add whatever you like! A great crust, lots of cheese and the crushed tomatoes really are what make a deep dish what it is. A blank slate to add whatever toppings you like. Once all your layers are on place in your oven that is already preheated at 375 degrees. And here you are….
From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!
Thank you Coleen of The Red Headed Baker for hosting this week! Need more pizza inspiration? Here are 50+ more recipes to check out….
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I’m serious when I say that I have been eating this meal most of my life. It’s a recipe that my dad invented, thus the name ‘My Dad’s Chicken & Rice’. He cooked it for us growing up and when I was old enough gave the recipe to me and I’ve been making it myself for about 20 years now.
My dad is a great cook! He makes the most unbelievable grilled chicken. My mouth is watering a little right now as I’m thinking about it. I want to think that he got his skills from my grandmother. On Sunday’s growing up we would have big dinners of lamb, creamed spinach and croissants. Dessert was almost always chocolate pudding with whipped cream. I loved those Sunday’s and I try and keep the tradition alive in our house where Sunday is a day for family and feasting.
Now back to the recipe because once you make ‘My Dad’s Chicken & Rice’ I know that it will quickly become a keeper you make for years yourself. Gather up your ingredients.
For years I made this recipe on the stovetop in a stockpot using quick cooking rice. But this Christmas I asked for a Rice Cooker and started making it that way. Let me tell you abut this rice cooker……
I LOVE IT! I know a rice cooker seems like something you would use only occasionally but let me tell you that I use this thing all the time. It is a steamer, slow cooker and I pretty much haven’t used my large stockpot (with the exception of this soup) since I got it. If you do not have a rice cooker, please feel free to make this on your stovetop following the same instructions.
In the pan or in your rice cooker add the water, chicken bouillon, rice, soy sauce, water chestnuts and fancy mixed vegetables. If you are using the rice cooker it will let you know when it’s all cooked. If you are doing this on the stovetop follow the package directions for cooking 1 cup of quick cook rice.
Now let’s cook your mushrooms and onions. I cook these separate from the chicken because the chicken will get soggy if cooked together and I like the chicken to be really crispy. Just add a little butter or oil in the bottom of your pan and sauté until mushroom and onions have browned. Add them to your pot.
Heat about 1 tbs. of oil in the bottom of the same pan used for the mushrooms and onions. Cut chicken into cubes and dredge into a mixture of flour, pepper and garlic powder.
Add chicken to pan and fry until golden brown.
Your rice should be cooked so now just add chicken as the final step and stir to combine all the goodness.
With this recipe I make Chinese Slaw Salad to go with it. Here are the ingredient I use.
Take your Ramen Noodles and break them up. Melt the butter and add the noodles to the pan, discard the packet you won’t be needing it. Brown the dry noodles to your liking for a crunchy topping on this salad.
Take the wet ingredients plus the brown sugar and mix together. Chop the lettuce and put it in a bowl. Add the bag of coleslaw mix. Top with dressing. Stir to mix. Top with Ramen Noodles. Right before serving I cut a lime I half and squirt over the top. It just adds a great citrus kick to it.
Plate it all up and here you are…..
From our home in the Bottom Left of the Mitten to yours ~ Enjoy!
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