Thursday, August 14, 2008


pizza dough
olive oil
kosher or sea salt

Stretch, don't roll, the dough in a baking pan that's been either oiled, sprinkled with corn meal or lined with parchment paper. You want it to be about a quarter inch thick, a little thicker around the edges. The size it will be is determined by how much dough you use. You can let it rise, covered, for an hour then dimple the surface or just put it in the oven unrisen. Before you bake it brush it with olive oil and sprinkle salt on top. Bake in a 425 degree oven for 10-20 minutes. If you want it softer, leave it in for 10 minutes or so, crispier 20.

Chicken Focaccia Sandwich

cooked chicken breast
onion, sliced thin, maybe 10 pieces (for focaccia)
7-8 basil leaves
2 slices mozzarella

Put the onion on the focaccia before you bake it. If the focaccia comes out thick, slice it in half like a cutlet, if it comes out thin, slice it in half like a sandwich. Layer the chicken, basil and cheese on some tinfoil or a baking pan. Cook at 350 till warmed through then put under the broiler till the cheese is brown. Put the chicken on half the focaccia, top with the other half. Serve.


So while I was portioning out dough for calzones last night I was thinking of what I could do with the third of the batch that was leftover. That's when I remembered this sandwich I used to get at this brew pub in Providence, back in the day. It was a jerked chicken breast on focaccia. Man was it good. Their jerked chicken was sweet and spicy and the focaccia was brown and crispy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside. Kinda makes me sad to think about it since their food has gone way downhill since I moved, apparently. But anyway I thought "hey, I can make some focaccia of my own with the leftover dough!" So I am.

There are lots of ways to make focaccia, you can shape it then let it rise and dimple the surface, you can not let it rise and just stick it in the oven, you can let it rise and not dimple it, it can be square, round, rectangular, and then there are toppings. For the most basic all you need is olive oil and coarse salt. But if you want to go nuts, you can put pretty much anything on it. Onions, olives, mushrooms, panchetta, tomatoes, prosciutto, anything you can think of. Think of it like a pizza without sauce or cheese. I have read (this is actually my first time making it) that you don't want to put cheese on it because you don't want to completely cover the top, then it would be pizza, and if you just lightly sprinkle some it burns and gets bitter. The recipe I put up top is the most basic, but I am using my garlic/rosemary infused olive oil that I made to rub on the calzones and some half circles of onion.

Start by prepping your pan. Since my sink is full of dishes that I won't touch till after I get some lunch in me I am just lining a pan with parchment. This way I have one less dish to do. You can also oil it or sprinkle on some corn meal. If you are using refrigerated or frozen dough you will want to bring it to room temperature or else it won't work well. Now stretch out the dough. I am told you don't want to roll it, the texture comes out different. This is how big I managed to get it. It's not very even, but whatever. I'm not afraid. Now brush some olive oil on it and sprinkle it with salt. It you want you can call it done, but I am going to put some slices of onion on. Then you toss it in a preheated 425 degree oven. The longer you leave it in the crispier the crust will be. If you want it soft it will only take 10-15 minutes, if you want it crispy leave it in for 20. When it is how you want it, take it out. You can eat it hot, warm, cold, by itself, as the bread for a sandwich, whatever. Mine came out pretty thin and the crust is a little on the hard side. Next time I make it I am going to put a bowl of water in with it, I have heard that helps keep it soft. I also probably should have let it rise some. Or made it thicker. Whatever, I'm just going to fold it in half over the leftover braised chicken and eat it. In fact, for those of you who are curious, here is what I am having for lunch.

I'm taking the rest of the braised chicken from last night, cutting it into slices, putting on some fresh basil leaves, then some mozzarella then putting it in the oven till it's warmed through and the cheese is melted. I tossed it under the broiler at the end to brown the cheese a bit. Then putting it on the focaccia and eating it. Man is it good.

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