Sunday, April 15, 2012

BBQ Chicken Pizza

BBQ Chicken Pizza
Makes 1 – 10 to 12-inch pizzas
Mom is always accusing Dad of being “too traditional” when it comes to pizza . . . “pizza is tomato sauce, mozzarella, and basil, maybe a little ‘traditional’ toppings but no fu-fu stuff!” but this is another American adaption of the Italian classic that even Dad loves.  Dad uses KC Masterpiece BBQ sauce but any good sauce will do.
                                                                               Prep time: 3 hours
                                                                               Pizza cook time: 12 minutes


authentic pizza dough:

1 ¼  cups bread flour
½  cups lukewarm (105°F) water
2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons honey

BBQ pulled chicken:

1 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup of your favourite BBQ sauce


1 small red onion, peeled, halved length-wise and thinly sliced
½ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce, to taste
1/2 cup of smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 teaspoons of fresh cilantro,  roughly chopped 


BBQ pulled chicken:

1.   Poach chicken breasts in salted water for about 20 minutes.  Drain the liquid from the chicken and allow it to cool.

2.   Once the chicken cools,  shred and place it into a resealable plastic bag.

3.  Pour 1 cup of the BBQ sauce over the shredded chicken, seal the bag  and massage the bag to coat all the chicken.  Place the bag in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 2 hours.  Agitate the mixture every so often to make sure all the chicken gets thoroughly marinated. 

Authentic pizza dough:

1.  In a 2 cup measuring cup, combine the water and honey stir to combine and sprinkle the yeast over it. Let sit until the mixture is foamy, about 10 minutes.  If the yeast doesn't "proof" (get "foamy") pour it out and start again it is important to have a live yeast mixture.

2.  Meanwhile place the flour and the salt into a sifter and sift it into the medium bowl  of a stand mixer.  Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the olive oil and the "proofed" yeast mixture.  Turn the mixer, fitted with dough hooks,  to knead and turn on.  Continue kneading (mixing) until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball around the dough hooks (scrap the sides of the bowl to move flour into the path of the hooks as needed).

3.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth but still slightly tacky (add flour gradually as needed to reach the slightly tacky state), 3 to 5 minutes. 

4.  Lightly oil a large mixing bowl with about 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil. Place the dough in the bowl and turn to oil the ball on all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap cloth and set in a warm, draft-free place until nearly doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

construction and baking:

1.  Place an appropriately sized pizza stone on the middle shelf of your oven and pre-heat the oven to 450° F.

2.  Remove the risen dough ball from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured work surface , flatten it into a thick disk and with your fingertips and palms, working from the center of the disk out to the edges, press it into a thin disk of dough approximately 10 to 12-inch round and about 1/8 inch thick (if necessary use a rolling pin to achieve the 1/8-inch thickness [don’t worry if the pizza isn’t perfectly round . . . that’s called “rustica” and it’s the way “real” Italian pizza looks in Italy]).  If you're really brave you can try the spin and toss method of forming the pie (this dough is perfect for it) just remember to use your knuckles when spinning and tossing . . . fingertips can cause holes).  Sprinkle flour over the surface of this thin disk (this will become the bottom of the pie when you place the pizza base on the peel  in the next instruction).

3.  Distribute some corn meal over the surface of a pizza peel (this will act as “ball bearings” and allow the dough rounds to move easily over the surface of the peel) and transfer the formed pizza base onto the peel insuring that the lightly floured side is on the bottom.  Lightly spread ½ cup of the BBQ sauce evenly over pizza base keeping a ½ to 1-inch border of the base uncoated to form a crust; sprinkle the grated ½ the mozzarella and all the Gouda  cheeses evenly over the BBQ sauce (leaving about the of uncoated dough around the edge uncoated.   Evenly distribute the shredded, marinated chicken over the cheeses.  Evenly distribute the thinly sliced red onions over the chicken.  Evenly distribute the remaining mozzarella over the red onions and finally evenly distribute the roughly chopped cilantro over the onions.

4.  Finally  sprinkle a little extra-virgin olive oil over the surface.

5.  Gently shake the peel to insure the pizza moves freely (if it doesn’t gently lift the edges of the pizza and distribute additional corn meal until it does), using the peel slide the pizza onto the stone and bake the pizza until the cheese is melted and bubbly, about 12 minute in a 450°F oven. Remove from the oven, slice into 8 wedge shaped slices and serve.

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