Monday, September 10, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Did California Pizza Kitchen invent the BBQ Chicken Pizza? I'm not sure, but whoever it was, I'm forever in their debt. One of the foods I used to survive on in college was Lean Cuisine's pocket sized version, but here's a recipe for a grown up one, from scratch!

You'll need:
- 1 batch homemade pizza crust (see below)
- 1 red onion
- 2 tbs olive oil

- 2 chicken breasts or 4 chicken breast tenderloins
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- 1/4 cup jarred, sliced jalapenos

Calories: about 300 for a slice (1/8 of pizza)

First and foremost, start by caramelizing the onions. It wil take some time but it's well worth it. Slice the red onion and add them to a large pan over medium heat with 2 tbs of olive oil. Add a liberal amount of cracked sea salt. Let this cook for 20 minutes - DO NOT STIR. Then turn down the heat a bit and cook for another 5-10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes or so. I'm still perfecting my caramelization techniques to try to get an evenly cooked batch, but here's about what they should look like when they're done:

While the onions are caramelizing, poach the chicken breasts. How do you poach chicken? Place them in a pot and add water so the breasts are just covered. Bring the water to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Simmer for about 6-8 minutes and then remove the chicken. Let them cool and you'll have easy to shred chicken. Add 1/3 cup of BBQ sauce to the shredded chicken in a bowl and mix together. Set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cover the pizza crust with 2/3 cup of BBQ sauce. Then add the chicken and onions on top, distributing evenly over the crust's surface. Repeat that process with the mix of shredded cheeses. Add jalapenos randomly for a nice kick. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melty. OPTIONAL - add fresh cilantro to the finished project. 

Here's what it should look like going into the oven.

Mom's Perfect Easy Pizza Crust

You'll need:
  • 1 package of fast rising yeast
  • 3/4 cup of warm water
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups of flour
1) Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Stir it until there are no clumps of yeast in the mixture.
2) Stir in salt, sugar, oil and 1 3/4 cup of flour until the dough is evenly mixed.
3) On a floured surface, knead in an additional 1/4 cup of flour. 
4) By hand or using a rolling pin, stretch the crust to get your desired thickness and size. Place in a 400 degree oven for 8 minutes before you add the toppings for your desired pizza. This will keep the crust from getting soggy. 

You can also use this recipe for calzones or add more oil and herbs to make a focaccia style flat bread. If you're in a time crunch, feel free to use store bought pizza dough, but this recipe is super easy and will save you some dough. (Sorry, I had to.)

Calories in one crust: 1140, or about 140 calories for 1/8 of a pie

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