Katie: This post could also be titled “How we ended up eating dinner at 9pm” or “What to do with leftover whiskey”, but I think I’ll stick with “Smoky Barbecue Chicken Pizza”.
I felt like making pizza this weekend and wanted to try something new. The recipes I found varied from those using pre-baked crusts and bottled sauces to recipes with instructions for homemade cheese. While I didn’t adventure into cheese making this weekend, I did decide to make my own pizza dough and sauce. When I spotted this recipe for Smoky Barbecue Chicken Pizza, I couldn’t wait to try it. Flori couldn’t wait either, so although I had planned to make it a day later, after finding the ingredients I decided to make it that evening. A few hours later, my pizza was done. Although this was a time-intensive project (especially the sauce), the results were worth it. The sauce was very flavorful due to the long simmering time and had just the right amount of spiciness. The chicken was juicy and soaked up the barbecue flavor. Although the original recipe didn’t include mushrooms, I think they were the perfect addition. The only addition that might improve this pizza would be caramelized onions, but after a few mediocre attempts in the past, I’ll leave them to the experts (aka Mom). Since I made a few changes to the original recipe, I’ll post my version here:
Smoky Barbecue Chicken Pizza (adapted from Food People Want)
- Flatbread dough, doubled recipe (for 8 servings; reduce other pizza ingredients accordingly for fewer servings; I used 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour and 3/4 cups whole wheat flour)
- Smoky Barbecue Sauce (I only made a few minor substitutions for ingredients I couldn’t find)
- 350g boneless, skinless chicken breast (3/4 pound or about 1 ½ cups shredded chicken)
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 120g (4 oz.) brown mushrooms, sliced
- olive oil
- shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese (1 – 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped (optional)
The barbecue sauce takes awhile to prepare, but it can be made in advance. The chicken can also be prepared ahead of time.
- Prepare the barbecue sauce according to the directions. This can be made in advance or should be started a few hours before your planned serving time.
- Prepare the flatbread dough.
- While the dough is rising, cook the chicken. Place chicken and 1 ½ cups water in a nonstick pan. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook 10-12 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Drain well. Once cool, shred the chicken with your hands into smaller (about 1-inch) pieces. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 500° F.
- Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until mushrooms become slightly softened. Remove and set aside.
- Add another teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the sliced red onion until slightly softened but not browned or carmelized, about 5-7 mintues. Set aside.
- Combine shredded chicken and 1 cup of barbecue sauce. If the sauce or chicken are cool, warm in a saucepan on low heat.
- Line baking sheets with parchment paper and dust with cornmeal. Roll out prepared dough.
- Spoon a thin layer of the extra barbecue sauce onto the dough and carefully spread it to the edge of its borders. Top with a thin, even layer of mozzarella cheese followed by pieces of the warmed chicken, red onion, and mushrooms. Top with a bit more cheese.
- Bake until the crust is crisped and golden and the cheese is bubbling (8-15 minutes; watch closely). Remove from the oven, sprinkle with freshly chopped cilantro leaves, and serve immediately.
Makes 8 servings