August 17, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Making pizza at home is easy! It all starts with the pizza dough, then pile on anything your heart desires. Don't be put off by the barrage of recipes that follow. If you don't want to or don't have time to make toppings from scratch, use store bought items: BBQ sauce, a rotisserie chicken (shred at home), mozzarella cheese, etc. It's also a really good way to use up left over sauces and lunch meats you have sitting in your refrigerator. But I like to make things from scratch at home so here are the recipes I used:

Super Simple Pizza Dough
(one med-sized pizza, about 4 slices)
from SmittenKitchen

1.5 cups bread flour (or all purpose flour)
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp active dry yeast
0.5 cup lukewarm water, plus 1-2 tbsp more
1 tbsp olive oil
  1. In a large bowl: mix together flour, salt and yeast. Add water and olive oil and stir until all liquid is absorbed and a ball of dough forms. Add 1-2 tbsp more water if dough is too dry to form a ball.
  2. Turn dough out onto well floured work surface. Knead 1-2 minutes until dough is smooth. Lightly oil same bowl used to mix dough, return dough to oiled bowl and turn to coat all sides in oil. Cover with plastic wrap or clean kitchen towel and let dough rise in warm area until doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
  3. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Gently press air out and roll into a ball. Return to bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise another 20 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to its highest temperature. If using a pizza stone (optional), preheat stone in oven as well. Roll out dough onto well floured surface using floured rolling pin, very thinly for a crispy pizza, and top with whatever. To transfer pizza to stone, use a large plate, slide pizza onto plate then slide pizza from plate onto stone. Could also use a baking sheet (which I did) instead of a stone: sprinkle baking sheet with a little flour (or corn meal if you have it) and roll out dough right onto baking sheet, top with whatever, and pop into oven. Bake until cheese has browned and crust is blistered and crispy, 10-15 minutes.
This recipe can easily be doubled to make two pizzas. Use 2 baking sheets (or stones), placing them in the top and bottom third of the oven. Half way through baking, rotate the pizzas for even baking.

Brown Sugar & Coffee BBQ Sauce
(about 4 cups)
from Bon Appetit magazine, Sept '09

*I didn't have any molasses so substituted maple syrup instead. Still came out well but next time will probably try it with molasses. Also, this makes a lot of sauce so if you plan to make just one pizza, halve the recipe.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 3/4 cup white onions
6 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp minced & seeded jalapeno chile
0.5 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tbsp molasses (or maple syrup)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp ground cumin
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup freshly brewed strong coffee or 1 tbsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 1 cup hot water
  1. Heat oil in large saucepan over med-high heat. Add onions, garlic and jalapeno. Saute until onions are tender, 7 minutes. Add brown sugar, chili powder, molasses, cilantro and cumin. Stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in crushed tomatoes, broth and coffee. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until sauce thickens slightly and is reduced to 4 cups, stirring often, about 35 minutes. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
Roasted Chicken Breast
(about 3 cups, shredded)

2-3 split chicken breast, bone in, skin on
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried herbs (Italian mix or Herbs de Provence)
salt & pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Coat chicken in oil and sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper and dried herbs. Roast, skin side up, 35-40 minutes. An instant read thermometer should read 160F when inserted in the middle. Remove from oven and let cool before shredding.
The BBQ sauce and chicken can be made while waiting for the dough to rise. I shredded the chicken and mixed it with a little BBQ sauce. I spread some more sauce onto the rolled out dough, then spread the chicken out on top and topped with mozzarella cheese. Bake the pizza 10-15 minutes then top with arugula and bake another 2 minutes until wilted. For an added kick, sprinkle on some red pepper flakes. YUM!

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