This week saw the return of my children and husband back to school and work, respectively, after a long Spring Break. Despite it’s length, it was nice to have everyone home and relaxed. We didn’t have to wake up early and rush to get breakfast or to make packed lunches. The mornings were a most civilised affair and that’s probably because only my husband and I were up before 2 pm! I love having my husband home and feel a bit depressed when he starts back to work. However, as much as I love him and love having him home, he does disrupt my routine! So, I am glad to see everyone back to school and work just so I can have my sanity and house back.
We did go for a mini vacation to South Dakota and Wyoming. It’s only a six hour drive from here and we thought it would be nice to get away for a couple of days. It was nice. Very nice. South Dakota is beautiful and Mount Rushmore was quite impressive. The Black Hills were just gorgeous and the weather was great. I was really taken by the beauty of South Dakota with it’s green rolling hills intermingled with endless plains. Driving through the Black Hills National Forest and just staring at the canyons and waterfalls; the dark pines that make the Hills “black”, strolling through the Old West town of Deadwood, it was all just a fabulous experience. My husband and I decided that we would definitely visit again.
We also took a side trip into Wyoming to visit the Devils Tower, made famous by the film “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” My husband is a very big Sci-Fi
nerd enthusiast…OK, so am I. I loved the Devils Tower, which is, by the way, the very first National Monument. We took a mile hike around the base of the Tower and my husband complained of neck pain after, because we couldn’t stop looking up at it. It was mesmerising. I was just intrigued with the geology and the formation. Nature never ceases to amaze me.
You would think that I would have plenty to tell you about all the great places we went to for lunch and dinner. My eating experience was poor at best. The best thing we ate on or trip was the Papa John’s pizza that we had delivered at 10 pm. I am not going to even write about the bad food, let’s just say, I was up at midnight the first night, throwing up. Not fun.
OK, now with that image in your head I will continue onto this recipe. When we order pizza at home, we only order cheese and vegetarian. I am dubious about the suspect meats that appear on a “supreme” or even just “hamburger”. My children prefer them plain anyway except for when I make this BBQ chicken one; inspired by the California Pizza Kitchen BBQ pizza. It’s pretty straightforward and you can substitute a pre made pizza crust but pizza dough is not hard to make.
As with any yeast dough, you will need a couple of hours to let the dough proof. Here is one good thing about high altitude baking; yeast doughs rise in no time! I can make fresh pizza in less time than it takes to get it delivered.
Here are the must haves to make this pizza taste great: cilantro/fresh coriander and red onions (though sweet white will work in a pinch.) If I don’t have these two ingredients; I don’t make this pizza.
So this recipe makes dough enough for 2 thin crust large pizzas or 1 deep dish (I use a large sheet pan) or 4 medium thin crust pizzas. Grill the chicken breast ahead of time or if you have leftover roast chicken; this is a great way to use it up. You can make your own BBQ sauce, but I am not that into BBQ sauces, so I just buy it. There is also no real quantity to this pizza; you can add as much topping as you like or your dough can handle. Just remember that if you like your pizza crispy, too much topping will weigh it down and make the crust soggy.
BBQ CHICKEN PIZZA
3 cups bread/strong flour
1 cup warm water
1 sachet instant yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
Proof the yeast in the warm water with the sugar. Leave it aside to get frothy.
Meanwhile, add the flour and salt to the bowl of a heavy duty mixer (easiest way, but you can do this by hand) and attach the dough hook.
Once the yeast is nice and frothy, add the olive oil and slowly pour into the flour.
Mix until a dough forms and knead with dough hook till you get a soft, smooth dough.
It can take 5 to 10 minutes to get a nice smooth dough.
Depending on your humidity or dryness, you may need to add more flour or more water.
Do so by tablespoons.
The dough should not be tacky or wet, nor should it be dry and flaky.
The perfect dough is soft and smooth.
Once you achieve the right consistency, oil a bowl and the dough and cover.
Put aside in a warm place to rise and double in size, about an hour or two depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
3 cups of cooked diced or shredded chicken
a bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
half red onion, sliced
BBQ sauce, bottled or home made
2 cups (or more or less) White Cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
You can do this on a pizza stone but when I don’t want to fuss with making individual pizzas, I use sheet pans or pizza pans to make family style pizzas.
Once the dough has risen, take it out of the bowl and put on the counter to roll. First, divide the dough in half if you want two thin crusts. Keep one piece covered.
I use a pin to roll it a little and then use my hands to stretch it out.
If you grease the pans and place the half rolled dough on it, you can stretch the dough by hand to fit the pan.
If the dough resists and keeps returning into a clump, let it rest for a few minutes and then try again.
Once you have the dough ready in the pan, brush a little olive oil on the dough and add a tablespoon or two of the BBQ sauce on the base…not too much.
Add the chicken, onions and cheese and then drizzle with more BBQ sauce.
Repeat with the other piece of dough.
Place on the bottom rack of the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melting and bubbly and the crust is golden.
Take out the pizza and let cool, and then add the cilantro.
Cut into slices and enjoy!
Everybody has a soft spot for pizza, Why is that? After all, it’s only bread and cheese….I think I just answered my own question..mmm…bread and cheese. What could be better?
What’s your favourite pizza? We all have one.
Thanks for reading and I hope those of you celebrating Easter and Passover have a great one with your family and friends.