What is it about BBQ chicken, smoked so perfectly that makes you feel so impure, unholy and in need of a soul cleanse?
That was a trick question. Do not fall for it again.
Yesterday I felt like Awesomepants was in need of a treat. No, not THAT kind. The food kind. I’d like to think I can do no wrong when it comes to making dinner. Ninety-eight per cent of the time, it works. The other 2 per cent is a lady who wishes she didn’t feel so compelled to feed her partner wholesome green produce (I’m sorry b, I really care) and who wasn’t a cliche when it came to the grill. I’m not scared of it, no. There’s something about a warm living room and couch with a husband making dinner that seems a lot more appealing to me.
As if coincidental to my plan, we got rid of our grill on Sunday. Who knew that grills grew pretty moulds in rainy conditions? Not me. I definitely wasn’t paying attention in Biology lab when there were pickled snakes to look at.
Since I can’t grill chicken, nor do we own a grill anymore, I decided to to this local BBQ joint downtown. It’s small, nondescript and looked just like one of those places that you never know existed because it’s such a well-kept secret. I always noticed the “Eat Ribs” sign from the bus station, where my wandering begins and ends.
DID SOMEONE SAY RIBS? << Sure fire hugsband reaction.
Off I went to the bus to carry home his favourite food. I knew he said he wanted a protein shake for dinner (No.) so I made peace with all that BBQ lovin’ and got a mix of chicken and ribs. (Fewer..like 3) Ribs: (More) Chicken = perfect ratio for world peace.
Good chicken makes me happy. Good leftover chicken makes great pizza. Great pizza makes me happy. Good happy makes pizza chicken. Happy chicken pizza good.
There’s always a method to this madness.
PS: You don’t have to add the BBQ chicken if you don’t have any. This pizza works just as well without it.
For the pizza bread:
- 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 tsp honey
- 2 cups (10 oz) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
For the toppings:
- Shredded leftover BBQ chicken
- 1 Roma tomato
- 4 oz mozzarella cheese
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Dry basil
- 1 clove of garlic, chopped fine
- A handful of cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup of red onion, sliced very thin
Add the yeast to water along with the honey and let it sit for 7 minutes. I might have let it sit for 2 more minutes because I forgot. You can give me dirty looks…
…but I won’t see them! HAHA. I like you guys! Stay.
In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, salt and olive oil and mix it up with your bare hands.
Like a caveman! Except, I don’t think cavemen ate bread as much as they did wooly mammoths. I say go bare because it’s the only way you can truly feel the dough. You’ll know what it lacks (too sticky, more flour, too dry..etc) and you’ll use more of your instinct to give it that. Hands are the future, people.
To this mixture, add the yeast+water mixture and knead the dough until it all comes together. Once this step is complete, cover the bowl and place it in a nice warm space 40 minutes.
It won’t rise much or at least to noticeable levels. Don’t worry about that. Take it out of the bowl and knead it for 5 minutes, working the dough nicely. Put it in plastic wrap and into the fridge so you can work on the toppings.
Slice the tomatoes horizontally and place them in a bowl. To the bowl add, about a teaspoon of olive oil to coat the slices, the chopped garlic, dry basil and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and let it sit for 5 minutes. Slice the mozzarella and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Back to the bread, take the dough out of the fridge and flatten it with your hands. Do this as far as you can and then take a rolling pin to it. Grease a baking sheet (because that’s what I used) with olive oil and put the dough on top. The sheet I used was a perfect fit. I had to cut very little off the edges. If I had to guess, the final rolled-out dough was about 1/2 an inch thick. I pressed it down a little bit more with my fingers once it was on the sheet.
Brushed some more olive oil on top of the dough and then add the tomato slices + the juices from the bowl it was in. Lay out the cheese very strategically so there’s cheese in every bite. Though I’ve stated the amount of cheese to be used, it’s just a guideline. You can go crazy. Finally, add the chicken and red onion.
Bake for 15-17 minutes or until the bread is crisp along the edges.
Sprinkle the cilantro on top for some flava.
Take so-so presentation picture for blog.
Attempt to eat pizza with fork.
Bare hands. Future. Remember?