I love condiments. I slather a ton of mustard on my burgers, I like lots of ketchup with my fries, but barbecue sauce has always been my favorite. When we were kids and my parents took us out for dinner, we almost always ordered chicken tenders. It worked out perfectly because they came with a little bowl of honey mustard sauce and a bowl of barbecue sauce and my sister, Jessica, and I would just do a trade so that I ended up with two barbecue sauces and she had two honey mustards.
Even as an adult Jessica stuck to her guns and every time I mentioned a place that did a great barbecue, she insisted that she really wasn’t into barbecue. She’s crazy. I mean, it can be done so many ways! And besides, how can you not love the sweet, smokey tang of good ol’ fashioned barbecue sauce?
When she came to Boston a month ago, Joseph suggested that we make one of our favorite pizzas for her: barbecue chicken pizza. It was also really fitting because we were watching the Aggies Bowl game (their colors are maroon and white, plus barbecue seems fitting for Texas). I told him that I didn’t think that would be a good idea for the aforementioned craziness. But I was so excited about the idea because I love this pizza that we went and got the ingredients “just in case.”
Jessica was incredibly gracious and insisted that we make the barbecue chicken pizza even though we offered up other options and she clearly didn’t think she would like it. Perhaps I should have counter-insisted that we make something we knew she would like. But I love this pizza! And I just really felt that she should to. Whether she wanted to or not.
Well, she loved it. Absolutely just loved it. And I promise you, you will too. Sweet, tangy, spicy chicken, smokey gouda, and crunchy, zippy red onions all drizzled in barbecue sauce? How does it get any better? I’ll tell you how. Slathered with guacamole. I had made some as an appetizer and we had some left over and it was still on the table and well, it was perfect. And to really put it over the top, serve it with Old Plains Raw Power Shiraz.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza
Adapted from Bon Appetit
We make our whole wheat pizza dough in our bread machine. We like to make it a day in advance , put it in a bowl lightly coated in olive oil, and store it, covered, in the fridge. Just make sure to take it out of the fridge a few hours before you want to use it because you want it to come down to room temp (or slightly warmer) before trying to form your crust.
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
2 large boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup hickory-flavored barbecue sauce, divided
pizza dough, twirled into 14 inch circle
cornmeal (for dusting pizza peel)
7 ounces smoked Gouda cheese, shredded
3/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 green onion, chopped
Preheat your oven to 375F. Season the chicken breasts with olive oil, salt and pepper, and then bake for about 15 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 160F. Transfer the chicken to a plate or cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Transfer the chicken to a medium bowl and toss the chicken with 1/4 cup barbecue sauce.
Position your oven rack on the lowest setting in your oven. Place your pizza stone or a large baking sheet on the rack and preheat oven to 450F for 30 minutes.
Shape your pizza dough into a 14 inch circle (or whatever shape you want to work with) and place on a pizza peel coated with cornmeal. Spread half of the cheese on the crust. Arrange chicken pieces on the pizza, spacing evenly, and spoon any remaining barbecue sauce from the bowl over it. Sprinkle the red onion over chicken. Drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce on top, followed by the remaining cheese and green onion.
Transfer the pizza to the hot pizza stone or baking sheet. Bake the pizza until the bottom of the crust is crisp and the cheese on top melts, about 11-15 minutes. Let the pizza stand for about 5 minutes and then cut into 8 slices and serve with guacamole if desired.