Barbecue Chicken Pizza

Bbq chicken pizza

Joel is a fan of literary magazines. One that he reads regularly is the quarterly McSweeney's. The people from that magazine have now launched Lucky Peach, which is a quarterly journal of food and writing. It comes to our house four times per year (well, it will, but it is only on issue 3 so far). Within its pages, there are interviews with chefs, recipes, and other associated food writing. It is a very interesting read and I enjoy it, but then again, any magazine with recipes in it would be hard for me to dislike! In the most recent issue, Spring 2012 Issue 3, there was an article about Ed LaDou, Wolfgang Puck's first pizza chef at Spago, who later created the menu at California Pizza Kitchen. While the recipe that they provided belonged to Puck, the sauce for this pizza was inspired by a barbecue sauce that LaDou had created in a collaboration with a barbecue sauce company. Though I did not use the recommended brand of barbecue sauce, this pizza was absolutely delicious! Mentioned as an alternative for the fontina and mozzarella cheeses was smoked gouda, which I know would have been a hit in our house. As great as this pizza was, I think that it might also be delicious grilled. I definitely plan to make it again, and next time, perhaps I will make those two changes.

3/4 pound Chicken, cooked and shredded
1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced*
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, grated
2 cups Fontina Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 recipe Pizza Dough (recipe below, I used one and froze the other)
1 bunch Cilantro Leaves, washed and chopped
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook the chicken however you desire (I boiled mine). Shred the chicken with two forks and place it in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper, then toss it with the barbecue sauce and set aside. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 500 degrees and place a pizza stone on the middle rack. Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel and stretch out the dough to an 8-10" round. Brush a little olive oil over the top of the dough and top with chicken and onions. Sprinkle the cheeses over the top and slide the pizza onto the baking sone. If you wish to bake the pizza, bake until the crust is nicely browned, about 10-12 minutes. Alternatively, turn on the broiler and, with the pizza stone on the top shelf, broil 3-5 minutes, until the crust is nicely browned and cheese is bubbly, keeping a careful watch to be sure that the pizza does not burn. Remove the pizza to a cutting board and sprinkle the top with cilantro. Cut and serve.

*I chose to use the red onions raw, but the original recipe suggests tossing them in salt and pepper and sautéing them in a tablespoon of olive oil for 2-3 minutes first before spreading them on the pizza.


The Dough (My Bread, Jim Lahey):

500 grams Bread Flour
10 grams Yeast
5 grams Table Salt
3 grams Sugar
300 grams Water, room temperature

Use a food scale to measure out the ingredients. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Pour in the water and stir until just combined. Cover the bowl and let it sit in a warm location for 2 hours. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a floured surface. Split the dough into 2 equal pieces and let them sit, covered, for about 30 minutes prior to baking. At this point, you can wrap the dough and freeze it.