This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Aaron Cuschieri – Executive Chef, The Dearborn

The Dearborn is now accepting reservations for dine-in beginning Friday, June 26.(Opening date subject to change due to city guidelines and announcement of Phase 4)

Upon reopening, The Dearborn will also offer our menu favorites, meal kits and retail to go.


Chicago Tavern-Style Thin Crust Pizza by Chef Aaron Cuschieri of The Dearborn

Makes 2x 12”-14” pizza

For the Dough:

4 C. AP flour

½ t. instant yeast

2 t. salt

1 ½ C. warm water (about 110 deg. F)

2 t. olive oil

1 t. sugar

Method: Combine the Flour, yeast, salt and sugar together in a stand mixer on medium speed. Combine the water and olive oil, then slowly drizzle in the water/oil mixture into the dry ingredients and knead dough for approx. 5 minutes. Lightly oil a mixing bowl and pour the dough ball into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm spot for 1 hour. Dough should be 2x in size. Punch down dough cut into 2 pieces and make 2 circular balls from the dough. Let dough rest for 15 minutes before pitting out.

For the pizza sauce:

1 T. garlic (minced)

1 C. yellow onion (small diced)

1 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes

2 C. fresh tomatoes (chopped)

2 t. dried oregano

2 T. fresh basil

2 t. black pepper

1 T. salt

A/N canola oil

Method: heat canola oil in sauce pot on medium heat until just before smoking, add garlic and onions and sweat (no color) for 5 minutes. Add the canned and fresh tomatoes, dried oregano, fresh basil, black pepper and salt. Stir together and bring to a boil, reduce to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes. Stirring at least every 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature to use right away. Can be refrigerated and used for up to 3 days.

To Build, Bake & Finish:

2 dough balls (rested for 15 minutes)

3 C. pizza sauce

4 C. mozzarella cheese

50 pepperoni pieces (you can use as much or as little as you want – this is personal preference)

1 t. dried oregano

To build, bake and finish: Preheat the oven to 450 F. Roll out the pizza dough into a circle to 12-14 inches (as thin as you can get it without breaking the dough). Start with your fingers around the edges then work in a circular motion around the dough as if to form a ‘crust’ then work your way to the center. Finish rolling with a rolling pin to form a circle. prick the dough with a fork all over the dough to make sure no air bubbles form (this is called docking the dough). Spread 1.5 C pizza sauce on each pizza and make sure the sauce goes all the way to the edge of the crust. Top each pizza with 25 pepperoni (more or less of you desire). Then top the pizza with mozzarella cheese. Make sure the cheese goes all the way to the edge of the pizza. The pizza can be baked on either a thin metal pizza pan or on a stone (if using a pizza stone) make sure it is in the oven when you turn the oven on for preheating. Cook the pizza in the 450F oven for 10-15 minutes. The crust should be crispy and the cheese should be caramelized and bubbling on top. Finish with a pinch or 2 of dried oregano. And cut pizza into squares. Aim for 3”x3” for th size of the squares. Serve warm and enjoy.