Friday, June 29, 2012
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
One of the worst parts about moving is changing jobs. I've had a lot of different jobs, from my first babysitting gig as an eleven-year-old (don't worry, my parents were next door), to a summer spent opening gallon tubs of potato salad and grape jelly at a youth camp, to a torturous stint in a data entry cubicle. I've taught piano lessons and dished up Chinese food and sorted through mountains of historic nursing school documents. Some jobs were great; others were barely worth the paycheck.
Moving usually means you have to leave your job behind. My last day at work was a week ago. My job was awesome. Yeah, it was a library, and I'm a librarian, and I was thrilled to be finally working in my field, even as just a lowly clerk. And yeah, I was privileged to spend my afternoons with probably the best group of coworkers ever. But one of the best parts of my job was the food (you knew there had to be some point to this, right?). My coworkers throw a party for every major life event. Every time someone has a birthday, there's a party. Every time someone has a baby, there's a shower. And we're not talking stale chips and dip here. These are all-out feasts with salads and casseroles and five kinds of dessert. The library hosts an annual "edible book festival" for the school and the community that celebrates books and--you guessed it--food. On Administrative Professionals Day, half the staff brings in treats to share, because "we're all administrative professionals, right?" The culinary arts students bring in samples of their masterpieces throughout the school year. There are almost always donuts and candy and random treats in the staff work room. And I was sent off with a going-away party to rival all others. It's a miracle they didn't have to roll me out of there.
One of the repeat foods at our parties (besides Carol's brownies and Ward's artichoke casserole) was a deliciously fattening chicken bacon ranch pizza. If you live in Fort Wayne, you should visit MJ's and try one. If you don't, you can still make it at home--and this is a great use of that Brakebush chicken in the back of your freezer! I haven't given any amounts for the ingredients--just use what looks good, and don't skimp on the cheese.
Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza
Crust for one 12" to 14" pizza (follow my directions here, or use your favorite)
Bottled ranch dressing
Red or white onion, diced and sauteed in olive oil until tender
Cooked plain chicken, diced
Cooked bacon, crumbled (or real bacon bits)
Spread a thin layer of ranch dressing on unbaked crust, to within about 1/2" of the edge. Layer remaining ingredients on crust in order listed. Bake according to crust directions, or until cheese is melted.