Well, hello there! It’s been awhile yo. I’m just gonna admit that this pizza is a little bit of work. It’s not a come together in 15 minutes type of meal. I mean, it could be but if you’re starting from scratch it’s gonna take you a few hours because of the crust and all. But I swear it is soooooooo worth it. I am sort of obsessed with the flavor combo of BBQ sauce, chicken, onions, and pizza crust. It’s kind of magical. The local grocery store used to carry a really delicious frozen BBQ chicken pizza but it has been absent for like a year. So sad.
The sauce I used for this pizza was homemade but it would still be totally delicious with a bottled one – I suggest Sweet Baby Ray’s because it is frickin’ amazing! For a little backstory, the place I worked in college did ribs on Thursday nights and those ribs had the most amazing BBQ sauce. I didn’t even know I liked BBQ until I tried them. In all honesty, I would probably lick that BBQ off of garbage if someone told me it was the only way I would ever taste it again. That sauce was homemade but I later found out that the chef used Sweet Baby Ray’s original recipe because they had worked together some years before and he had given it to him. So the bottled stuff isn’t as good, but it’s damn close.
So here’s the deal with the crust – if you’re starting from scratch to eat the day of, you’re going to want to get this going around 3 to eat some yummy pizza by dinnertime. This is the recipe I use most often and it’s from my friend Susan.
Susan’s Delicious & Simple Pizza Crust
Makes four 10 inch dough balls
3 cups unbleached flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 pkg yeast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup water (105-110 degrees)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined. Let dough rest 5 minutes. Knead or mix with dough hook until dough passes “window test.” In case you’re unfamiliar, this means that you snip off a small piece of the dough and stretch it between your fingers. If you can stretch it until it is thin as a windowpane and vaguely see-through, you’re done. If not, keep kneading baby.
After you get the window test taken care of, place the dough in an oiled bowl until doubled in size. Divide into 4 equal pieces.
If you’re not going to use all the dough right away you can wrap it in plastic wrap really well and freeze it, then unthaw it in the fridge next time you want pizza or you can be naughty and just put it in the fridge to use the next day. This is probably bad in some way but I’ve done it before and it works. Call the yeast police.
Now lets talk about this sauce. So I did a class called Cooking with Coffee earlier in the year and as you can imagine, I did a lot of Pinterest-searching to find recipes that used coffee in interesting ways. One of my favorites was a recipe for coffee-spice rubbed burgers with homemade BBQ sauce. I didn’t use all the sauce in class, so the remainder ended up on this pizza and it was truly amazing. But like I said, if you don’t want to do this step Sweet, Sweet, Sweet Baby Ray’s will definitely do. This recipe is originally from Bon Appetit magazine, but I found it on the Epicurious website.
Texas BBQ Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 chipotle chile from canned chipotle chiles in adobo,* minced with seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
Melt your butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds, being careful not to scorch the garlic. Been there, done that. It smells & tastes horrible. Stir in your ketchup and all the remaining ingredients. Bring the sauce to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer the BBQ until it is reduced to about 1 1/3 cups, stirring occasionally. This should take about 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool in the pan, then transfer to a container and store in the fridge. It will last about a week but I’m guessing it won’t hang around that long.
This BBQ sauce is more spicy than sweet so if you’re worried about that, just cut down on the chipotle and cayenne a little. But really, why would you want to do that?
So you’ve got your crust and your BBQ sauce, now it’s time to assemble.
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Texas BBQ Sauce
1 round of pizza dough (or a premade crust, your choice)
a small bit of cornmeal or flour for dusting
half a red onion, diced or sliced, your choice
1-2 cups of cooked chicken (I like using rotisserie chicken because it’s easy and super moist)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and if you have a pizza stone, stick that puppy in the oven right away to heat up with it. If you don’t, no worries. You can make this on a pizza pan or cookie sheet lined with parchment. If you’re using the stone, haul out your pizza peel and dust it with cornmeal or flour. Shape your dough into a round however you see fit. I like to pretend I’m a real pizza guy and throw it a little but it has ended in disaster several times. When you have it stretched out, place it on your peel and add your toppings. Don’t use too much sauce, just use enough to get a thin layer almost to the edges. Then lay down your chicken and red onion and top it with the shredded cheese. When the oven is hot, open the door and slide the pizza onto the peel as fast as you can, then shut the oven door quickly. Bake until the crust is browned and the cheese is melty and starting to brown on the high spots. When you take it out, sprinkle the parsley or cilantro (or get crazy and do both) to add a little color and bright pop of flavor. Now stuff your face!
To be truthful, I’ve had a weird stomach bug for the past 4 days and haven’t really eaten much other than rice and water so writing this one was a little hard. I wanted to write about something that was really delicious though to remind myself that food is actually good to see, smell, and taste and I think I did that. Make this pizza guys, you won’t regret it.