In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, combine the yeast and warm water and a pinch of sugar. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes of until the yeast is foamy and dissolved. Add flour, olive oil, salt, and sugar. Mix by hand or with the dough hook on low speed for 1 minute. Once all of the ingredients are mixed, knead for 7 minutes by hand or with your dough hook on low-medium speed. If your dough is too wet, add up to 1/4 cup more flour. After kneading, your dough should be smooth and elastic. Poke it with your finger - if it slowly bounces back, your dough is ready to rise. If not, keep kneading. Shape the dough into a ball and place in a large mixing bowl that has been coated lightly with olive oil. Turn it over to coat all sides. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm environment, about 1 hour.
After rising, punch the dough down to release the air. Divide the dough into two. Roll each half into a ball and let rest in two separate bowls lightly covered for 15 minutes. You may refrigerate one of the dough balls at this point to use at a later time because the toppings listed are enough for only one 12-inch pizza (see notes).
Preheat oven to 475°F (246°C). Allow to heat for at least 30 full minutes. Grease and dust baking sheet(s) with nonstick spray or with olive oil. Sprinkle with cornmeal (preferred for flavor and texture) or flour.
After 15 minutes, flatten dough(s) on a lightly floured surface. You could also do this directly on cornmeal lined pizza pan. Shape into a 12-inch round circle, flattening and stretching the dough. If using a pizza stone, place the dough directly on baker's peels dusted with cornmeal. Lift the edge of the dough up to create a lip around the edges. To prevent the filling from making your pizza crust soggy, brush the top lightly with olive oil. Using your fingers, push dents into the surface of the dough to prevent bubbling. Let rest for 15 minutes before topping.
Top the dough evenly with garlic, then spread the pesto on top. Add the chicken then sprinkle on the cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Optional: For the last minute, move the oven rack to the top rack to really brown the edges. Remove from the oven and top with fresh basil, if desired.
Slice hot pizza and serve immediately. Store leftover pizza covered tightly in the refrigerator and reheat as you prefer. Baked pizza slices can be frozen up to 1 month and reheated as desired.