Barbecue Chicken Pizza

26 Aug

A few weeks back, I had a craving for the barbecue chicken pizza of a California-type of restaurant in the mall near my house.

DH hates the mall. Passionately. And so, we had a dilemma.

Thankfully, I also have a pizza stone that lives on the bottom rack of my oven. If you’ve not yet invested in one, I highly recommend it. Just leave it in the hot box all the time and it’ll be ready whenever you want excellent pizza or crusty bread or crunchy cookies. They are fantastic toys and no-maintenance: I scrape mine off into the trash can with a metal spatula (after it cools, of course) and put it back into the oven for next time. No muss, no fuss.

The thing I don’t like about the pizza restaurant’s barbecue pizza is the red onions. Red onions are great in moderation. But they toss them willy-nilly all over the pizza and to be honest, it’s a bit much. So I went with Vidalia onions (any sweet yellow will do) that I caramelized in a low cast iron skillet for about a half-hour in a little butter and olive oil and just a touch of salt to help bring out the liquid.

The rest is easy: chicken breast that you cook any old way (I did mine in the oven while the pizza stone heated–you want that puppy hot hot hot when you slide in your crust) and bottled sauce and shredded cheese.

Huge hit. Tremendous. But if your kids aren’t into barbecue just yet, it’s easy enough to make a traditional tomato-and-cheese pie for them just before you make this yummy recipe for the grown-ups. Pizza stones are fantastic that way–once they’re hot, you can go and go with pie after pie. Just refresh the cornmeal on there to keep everything from sticking.

To make barbecue chicken pizza, you’ll need:

A crust. Any store-bought will do, even the Boboli pre-baked. I make my own, but we’ll talk about that another day. *wink*

A chicken breast (boneless and skinless), or leftover chicken meat, shredded up (the meat from my perfect roast chicken would be great, as would any rotisserie chicken or plain, grilled bird)

Bottled barbecue sauce

A sweet yellow onion

Shredded cheese. I actually like a Mexican blend for this, but a combination of mozzarella and cheddar is absolutely wonderful too.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees with the pizza stone on the bottom rack. Let this go for a half-hour or so before you’re ready to cook.

Slice and caramelize your onion (coat a pan with olive oil and butter–a teaspoon or so of each–and let the onion cook with a tiny bit of salt for about a half-hour over low heat, or until golden brown and delicious)

While the oven gets hot, pop in your chicken breast with some of the barbecue sauce in a little pan. Let it stay in there until it’s cooked through (about 10 or 15 minutes) but not dry. Cut it into bite-size chunks or shred it.

Prepare your crust. Poke holes in it with a fork (keeps a lot of air bubbles from forming), and layer your barbecue sauce, cheese, sweet yummy onions, and chicken on top. This is a great thing for kids to help with, by the way, and I sometimes make the crusts into individual pizzas and let everyone make their own. Way fun!

Sprinkle cornmeal onto your pizza stone and gently slide your pie into the oven. Cook it for 10 – 15 minutes, or until it’s reached your desired doneness (I like my cheese a little brown).

Remove from oven. Slice and yum.

This is a big favorite in my house, and no visit to the dreaded mall is required. I hope it is in yours, too.

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