Sunday, June 9, 2013

my famous bbq chicken pizza

Listen. I won't usually brag about my cooking. I enjoy doing it, people enjoy eating it, and I'm happy with that.

But this pizza? Well, I have had two people who hate BBQ chicken pizza become converts. And I am pretty sure Mike fell in love with me because of it. He still tells me its his favorite thing I have ever made him.  I think I had him at 'BBQ' but still.

A few years back when my love of cooking was in its infancy, my brothers bought me a cooking class for Christmas. I picked pizza making--of course--and it was so much fun. To me, pizza is up there with pasta as the most versatile thing you can make--basically add anything plus goat cheese and its perfect.

Naturally after this class my family wanted me to make them pizza. My brothers best friend is allergic to cheese and was going to be there for dinner, so I had to make a special pie catered to him--and who knew it would turn into the cornerstone for my pizza making! He requested BBQ chicken and bacon pizza, hold the cheese (of course) and it came out so great I had to try it again with cheese.

Over the years I have tweaked the recipe and found the best ingredients to make it as perfect as possible. I don't make my own dough because it falls into the "not worth the effort" food category, and Trader Joe's has a great one. They also supply me with the best BBQ sauce I have tried--their Kansas city style sauce that has the perfect amount of sweetness. (When I make this pizza for Mike I mix that sauce with their spicier version.)

I made it this weekend for one of my aforementioned BBQ chicken pizza convert friends as we christened her new apartment with wine.

So without further ado, here it is below.

pre-heat oven to 350

bbq chicken pizza
1 package of chicken breasts or tenders
1 bottle of your fave BBQ sauce (you will prob use about 2/3 the bottle.)
1 package of pre-made dough (make your own if you like, or get it at TJ's or your fave pizzeria)
1 cup shredded cheese--I like a mix of mozzarella, cheddar and monterey jack
about 2 oz of goat cheese (I probably go overboard here)
sauteed red onions (optional)
crispy bacon (optional)
salt & pepper for seasoning
1/3 cup flour for rolling out dough
1 tbsp olive oil

  • put the chicken in a bowl or ziploc with enough sauce to cover each piece--try to do this at least 30-45 mins ahead.
  • once its marinated for a bit, move to an oven safe and foil-lined pan and bake in a 350 oven for 15-20 minutes. chicken should be cooked through since it will not do much cooking once on the pie. once cooled enough to handle, dice into bite size pieces.
  • while that cooks in the oven flour the counter and your rolling pin and begin rolling out your dough. (be liberal with the flour so nothing sticks)
  • I usually use a rectangle cookie sheet, so I roll the dough accordingly. you can use a pizza stone but I have never had much success with them.
  • once the dough is rolled out, lightly oil your pan and place the dough in, making a crust by shaping the sides against the pan. if you have excess dough just cut it off the sides. be careful not to stretch it as the dough will rip.
tip: you can transport the dough easily from the counter to the pan by rolling it on the rolling pin until it is fully wrapped around, then unroll it on the sheet you are using. no tears in the dough!
  • poke a few holes around the dough with a fork to avoid too many bubbles forming and brush with the remaining olive oil until you cover all of the surface of the pizza (not edges.)
  • place in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes until the crust starts to brown on the bottom and the crust has risen along the edges. the idea here is to "pre-bake" to avoid the toppings burning and get a crispy but slightly chewy crust.
  • remove from the oven and cover the crust liberally with BBQ sauce, then layer your chicken, any optional toppings and cheeses.
  • bake again in the oven at 350 for about 5-7 minutes--everything is cooked so just let that cheese melt and you are good to go.

finished product

table set for dinner

a few sweet treats for after. my motto-make dinner, buy dessert!

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