Have you been to California Pizza Kitchen? I remember the first time I went with Mom, she ordered the BBQ chicken pizza, and I thought it was SO weird, but then the pizza came and it was absolutely delicious. This recipe allows you to make that same memorable BBQ Chicken Pizza at home.
Pizza dough is easy to make if you plan ahead, but you can also buy good dough from the store (I’m partial to Trader Joe’s whole wheat dough). This recipe also calls for your favorite BBQ sauce. I used Sweet Baby Ray’s original, but use whatever you have on hand. You can use leftover chicken, or quickly roast a few chicken breasts in the oven (this recipe only calls for one, so save the others for something else later in the week).
While I had a few onion skeptics, slicing the onion as thin as possible allows them to cook just enough to take the edge off and everyone loved them.
What are your favorite unusual pizza toppings?
BBQ Chicken Pizza
Makes two 9×13″ thin crusts pizzas (feeds 4-6)
For the dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose (or bread) flour
- 3/4 tsp dry active yeast (generous 1/8 tsp for overnight rise, 1/4 tsp for all day)
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
For the pizza:
- 1 cup BBQ sauce
- 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
For the dough, combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, mix well with a spoon until craggy, on the dry side. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for about 6 hours or until doubled in size. If your house is especially cold, I recommend warming the oven a little, (no higher than about 100°F) turning it off and then placing your bowl in the oven.
Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 500°F (remove your dough if it’s in the oven first). Lightly flour your counter and turn out the sticky dough onto the counter. Sprinkle the top with a little more flour and then divide the dough in two. With floured hands, lift the dough and let is stretch out a few times. Grease a large jellyroll pan with cooking spray and then sprinkle with course cornmeal. Place the dough onto the pan and use your floured fingers to stretch it out into a thin rectangle, about 9×13″. If any holes develop, just delicately patch them up. Repeat with the other half of the dough on a second pan.
If you don’t have cooked chicken on hand, preheat the oven to 350°, season a chicken breast with salt and pepper (throw on some BBQ sauce if desired), and roast for about 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Let cool and shred.
To make the pizza, spread about 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce on each prepared dough. Divide the chicken, onion and cheese between the two pizzas. Top each pizza with about 1/4 cup cilantro.
Bake for about 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan if needed for even cooking. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle with the remaining cilantro.