BBQ Chicken Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Peppers and Jalapeños

Pizza is a staple around here. We just love it. It’s tactile, it’s delicious, and it smells amazing. Last night, there was a bit of a dinner discrepancy. I wanted BBQ, and he wanted pizza. BBQ Chicken Pizza made us both winners!

We began with the same basic pizza crust that we usually make, but added a bit of granulated garlic to the mix. For our sauce, we used a blueberry BBQ sauce that we had leftover from July 4th. Normally, I’d suggest a cheddar or jack cheese for the top, but we had a surplus of mozzarella and needed to use it up. Our garden is producing a ton of beautiful peppers and the farmers market had lovely Vidalia onions, so we also included those. And, because we like spice, we added some of our favorite pickled jalapeños.

Pizza is one of the magical foods that you can explore flavors and textures. You can use up leftovers or clean out your veggie drawer. Crust is a fantastic canvas. I suggest playing and going beyond what you think a pizza should be.

But, if you want to make this pizza, you’ll need…

1 lb ball of pizza dough
1/2 to 3/4 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
8 ounces of freshly shredded mozzarella, cheddar, or a mixture of what you like
4-6 ounce cooked chicken breast (we seared ours in canola oil just for this and rubbed it with mesquite seasoning, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper)
1 sliced and sautéed bell pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced and caramelized
Handful of pickled, sliced jalapeños

We recommend using a pizza stone for baking the pizza. A scorching hot pizza stone gets you a crispy, flawless crust. We got ours for ten bucks at Home Goods.

Anyhow, preheat the stone, if you have one, in a 400 degree oven or use a baking sheet (don’t preheat the baking sheet). Roll out the dough.

20130724-121417.jpg
Take the stone out of the oven. We sprinkle corn meal on the top to precent sticking, but its not necessary if your stone is well worn like ours.

20130724-121458.jpg
Carefully place the rolled dough on top and brush it with the BBQ sauce.

20130724-121640.jpg
Next add the cheese. Go nuts!

20130724-121740.jpg
Cook your pie in the 400 degree oven until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. This will take around 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, pizza stone and all.

20130724-121913.jpg
Resist the urge to eat it. Scatter the sliced chicken, sautéed veggies, and pickled jalapeños on top.

20130724-122110.jpg
Put back in the oven for 5 more minutes until everything is bubbling. Remove carefully, let cool for a minute, cut, and eat.

20130724-122238.jpg

Tomato Basil Pizza Dough from a Bread Machine

Perhaps my favorite kitchen helper is the bread maker. It’s a modern marvel. And, critics and naysayers, please refrain from saying it doesn’t make “real bread.” It’s not cheating! It’s helping.
And it also prevents us from eating preservative-laden grocery store breads because we now have the time to make something more nutritious.

Our Zojirushi bread machine is our best friend. It takes a bunch of ingredients and makes them into something edible while we’re off being busy people with jobs, school, and obligations. Life gets in the way of crafting artisan bread…unfortunately.

And you know what else? This machine mixes and kneads the best pizza dough! And we eat a gratuitous amount of pizza around here. Why? It’s freaking delicious, and it makes perfect leftovers (or “pre-cooked meals,” as my grandmother would say).

Last night we made a tomato basil dough for our pie, and it was spectacular. We topped it with olive oil, mozzarella, and sautéed mushrooms…but that’s not the point. We’re talking dough.

If you have a bread machine, follow along:

1 1/4 cups water
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 3/4 cups bread flour
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (we usually use kosher)
2 teaspoons rapid rise bread machine yeast
1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic salt-free seasoning blend
1 teaspoon red chili flakes

20130708-190907.jpg
Put ingredients in the bread maker according to manufacturers directions, put on the quick dough setting, and press start. In about 45 minutes, you’ll have dough! We oil a bowl, remove dough from the bread maker pan, put it in the bowl, and cover it with a clean towel. Let it rise for 30 minutes in a low-humidity area, and then it’s done!

20130708-191112.jpg
This recipe makes two large thin crust pizzas. To start, split the dough in half, lightly flour a clean work surface, and roll it out. It’s the easiest dough I’ve ever worked with. See how pretty it looks? You can see the seasonings all through the dough.

20130708-191237.jpg
Add whatever you like for cheeses, sauces, flavored oils, veggies, meats, etc. Dough is the perfect blank canvas for experimentation. Food is fun, and pizza is very forgiving.

Oh, and by the way, consider investing in a pizza stone for perfect crispy crust.

Sun Dried Tomato & Garlicky Mushroom Pizza

Tonight was pizza night. We do this every week, but tonight we did something a little different. First, we made beer crust. Second, Celeste was our dinner guest…and photographer. We used our Zojirushi bread machine to mix and knead the dough to perfection, and, believe me, it’s worth the investment. We sautéed mushrooms, rolled the dough, preheated the pizza stone, chopped the sundried tomatoes, made the sauce, and voila! PIZZA! There were a few steps in between that I’ve left out, so let me know if you’d like the details…but, hey, it’s late, and I have to work in the morning. Thank you, Celeste, for this photo. As you would say, “I wish people could smell this.”

20130513-215651.jpg