BBQ Chicken Pizza

I love barbeque sauce, especially on grilled chicken. It’s hands down the best way to eat chicken in the summer. Forget dieting, add some flavor to that meat. Well… I’ve never had it on a pizza. The idea of barbeque sauce and chicken on a pizza just sounds weird to me, but given that I love it I figured it’d be worth a shot trying. I had been contemplating over making this for quite some time. As with so many ideas and possibilities, they sit there in the back of my head for a while. Sometimes it’s because I have some research to do, other times it’s because I’ve just gotten lazy.

Several times over the last month I meant to make this but I kept forgetting to make the dough. So I’d use the chicken for something else and never get around to prepping for it. I was determined to do this sooner than later. It needed to be done and tried. So, I finally prepped the dough. Some pizza dough you can whip up and cook the same day, others are best to ferment for a minimum of 24hours. More time is okay too and will give your dough even more flavor. My dough had been made and resting peacefully in the fridge for well over a day. Actually, it’d be two days by the time I got around to eating.

Why haven’t I eaten this before? So good and so simple. If you like bbq chicken and haven’t had bbq chicken pizza, you need to make this. The weird part for me was adjusting to the tastes. I don’t eat sauce on my pizza, I hate tomatoes, but when tasting sauce on the pizza I was confused by the barbeque taste, expecting it to be tomatoes. I know, weird considering I don’t ever eat it with sauce, but I think it’s just the fact that there was sauce at all. After the first few bites, I was over the weirdness and had fully adjusted to the new tastes and textures this pizza held.  The crust was perfectly thin and crisp. It’ll be an absolute keeper for when I’m in the mood for thin crust pizza.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ingredients:

Dough ingredients:
1/3 C + 1 tbsp warm water
3/4 tsp active dry yeast (not rapid rising)
1 tsp sugar
1 C bread flour, plus more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Pizza ingredients:
1 boneless chicken breast
3/4 C barbeque sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 C mozzarella cheese
1/2 C sliced red onion, optional
2 tsp chopped cilantro, optional

Directions:

Dough:

In a measuring cup, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let sit for 5 minutes or until puffy. If it doesn't puff up, try again. Your yeast is either dead or your water was too hot. Yes, it can be too hot. The rule of thumb from my experience is, if the water is so hot you can't stick your finger in it then it's too hot. If it's just getting to the uncomfortable heat stage, you're there. You want it to be between 105 and 115 degrees roughly.

Meanwhile, mix bread flour and salt in a small bowl. Form a well with your flour mixture. Leave a small amount of flour on the bottom of the bowl and push the rest out to the sides of the bowl. When your yeast has puffed up, drizzle olive oil into the middle of your flour mixture. Pour yeast mixture into your flour well.

Using a fork, stir the liquid gradually picking up some of the flour. Continue doing this until your ingredients are combined. When you having trouble using the fork to stir, transfer your dough to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until smooth. Form dough into a ball. Grease a medium sized bowl with oil. Place dough ball in the bowl, flip once to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean plastic bag, taping to secure. Store bowl in a warm location for 2 hours or until doubled in size. Punch down dough, recover the bowl and toss in the fridge. Allow your dough to sit for 24 to 48 hours before cooking.

Pizza:
Preheat oven to 500. Prepare a cookie sheet with a quick spritz or drizzle of olive oil. Chop up chicken into bite size pieces, while also removing and discarding any fat. Heat up a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil. Toss chicken into a medium bowl, top off with 1/2 C barbeque sauce. Toss chicken to coat well. When your pan is heated well, carefully spoon in chicken. It will splatter and pop. If you have a splatter screen, you may want to use this. It may or may not help your stove and nearby locations from getting splattered with sauce. I'd say easily everything with in a 6-8 inch area of the pan got coated with dots of barbeque sauce popping and spraying. Not a fun mess to clean up. So do yourself a favor and try a splatter screen, or just be prepared to do some cleaning after you're done. Cook chicken for 4-5 minutes or until cooked completely. Transfer to a small bowl, set aside.

Just barely flour a work surface. Plop dough down and knead a quick few times. This is just to remove any stickiness the dough may have, which will make it easier to work with. I found that letting gravity, for the most part, was the easiest way of stretching and forming the dough initially. Pull your dough and shake it a bit, turn and repeat. You can try to stretch it out on the counter if you wish, but hanging in the air and stretching seemed to work quite well with this dough. This method also works really well because the light from behind the dough will help you to see how much thinner certain areas are over others. Do not stretch so thin that it breaks, but do stretch as thin as you can. Eventually you can transfer to your pan, stretching and forming by hand. Form dough into a rough rectangular shape.

Pour remaining 1/4 C barbeque sauce onto dough, spread out with the back of a spoon or soft spatula. Sprinkle with half of your cheese. Spread chicken evenly throughout your pizza. If using onion slices, top off chicken with onion. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, focusing primarily towards the center of your pizza. If using cilantro, top off your pizza with it. Pop in the oven for 12 minutes or until the crust is lightly browned.

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