Chicken Challenge Meal #5: BBQ Chicken Pizza

Ready to Eat

It’s the final meal of the Chicken Challenge.  If you’ve made it this far, I hope you are feeling quite pleased with yourself.  After all, you’ve taken one chicken and managed to feed you and someone else 4 meals.   You are a provider, a waster of nothing, and a person who is probably ready to eat something other than chicken.  But not yet…

BBQ Pizza

You should have just enough shredded chicken left to make this BBQ pizza and it is a delicious way to end this challenge.   Gouda, mozzarella, your favorite BBQ sauce, onions, cilantro, and, of course, chicken top a crispy homemade crust.   This, Master of the Chicken, is your reward.  Enjoy!

Barbecue Chicken Pizza – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 1 large pizza

If making this pizza as part of the chicken challenge, use about half of the shredded meat from the carcass, drumsticks, and wings for this pizza. The recipe for the crust is adapted from Chef Chris Bianco’s basic pizza dough recipe in The Gourmet Cookbook edited by Ruth Reichl. I’ve been obsessed with it for months now and my pizzas and stomach have benefitted greatly. Give it a try, enjoy the result, and make it a permanent part of your culinary repertoire.

For the crust:
1 package (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 ¾ to 2 cups all purpose flour, divided
3/4 cup warm water, divided
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons olive oil

For the pizza:
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1/3 cup barbecue sauce (I used Stubb’s Original as I had it on hand)
½ cup grated fresh mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated gouda cheese
¼ cup sliced yellow or red onion
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Place a pizza stone in the top third of the oven and preheat the oven as high as it will go (usually 500 to 550 degrees).  Begin heating the stone at least one hour before you plan to eat for best results. Preheating the stone for at least one hour ensures that you get a crispy crust.

In a small bowl, whisk together the pizza yeast, ¼ cup of the warm water, and 1 tablespoon of the flour and let sit for five minutes until surface appears creamy. If surface does not appear creamy after five minutes, discard the yeast and start again with new yeast.

In a large bowl, whisk together 1-½ cups all purpose flour and salt. Pour the yeast mixture and olive oil over the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Turn the dough out on a well-floured counter and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Add flour as needed to the dough so that it remains soft, but not sticky. I find that this usually requires about 1-¾ cups of flour; in other words, an additional ¼ cup from what has already been used in the recipe.

Dust a clean surface with flour and place the kneaded dough on top. Dust the top of the dough with flour and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise for about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising, spoon about 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce over the shredded chicken and toss to coat. Prepare the other ingredients.

Dust a pizza peel or the back of a large baking sheet with cornmeal. Dredge the pizza dough in flour and gently hold one edge of the dough in the air and let the bottom touch the countertop. Turn the dough, moving your hands as you turn, letting the weight of the dough stretch it into a large and larger round. When it begins to feel unmanageable, transfer it to the cornmeal-dusted pizza peel and use your fingers to pull the dough until it is a 13 or 14-inch round. Shake the peel gently to make sure there is enough cornmeal under the pizza for it to easily slide onto the hot stone when the time comes.

Spread the remaining barbecue sauce over the dough leaving space around the edge for the crust. Sprinkle the chicken tossed with sauce over the pizza and then sprinkle with the Gouda and mozzarella cheese. Add the onions to the pizza and then slide the pizza into the oven to bake for 12 to 14 minutes (check pizza for doneness starting at 10 minutes but don’t remove the pizza too early as the crust won’t be as crispy).

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cilantro leaves. Allow the pizza to cool for three minutes then cut into slices and enjoy immediately.



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