Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Recipe #27: Buffalo Chicken Pizza

As you can tell from this blog, we're a fan of pizzas. Instead of doing the usual veggie pizza for myself and meat-loaded pizza for my husband, I went in a different direction. I grilled the chicken, and spiced up the sauce (by a lot), and we got a winner. If this preparation is too spicy for you, feel free to change the ration of hot sauce to Frank's Red Hot to be more your liking.


Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Cooking time: 30 minutes (total)

1 package of prepared pizza dough*
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot sauce
4 ounces cheddar cheese
12 ounces chicken tenders*
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
Salt and pepper to taste

Grill (gas or charcoal)
Pizza stone*
Small saucepan

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. (If using pizza stone, allow stone to sit in hot oven while preheating, up to 45 minutes)

Stretch dough into any shape, ensuring it’s no thicker than one inch in any section. Coat pizza stone or baking sheet with cornmeal, to prevent stickage and give pizza a restaurant taste and feel.

Season chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Grill on high for 4-5 minutes, turning once, or until chicken is cooked all the way through. Remove, let cool.

While chicken is cooling, in small saucepan, simmer Frank’s Red Hot, butter, tomato sauce, garlic, and onion powder. When butter has melted and mixture has been evenly combined, set aside.

Place untopped dough into the oven for 5 minutes to rise slightly. Remove from oven and carefully pierce with fork.*

Chop chicken into 1-inch pieces (roughly), and toss with two tablespoons of sauce in a separate bowl.

Coat pizza dough with the sauce, not allowing sauce to pool too much in any one spot. Add chicken, top with cheddar cheese.

Cook at 450 for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.

*Pizza dough: The type of dough I used for this is not the type you can roll out from Pillsbury, but the type usually sold in the dairy section in plastic bags. The amount of pizza you'll end up with obviously depends on how much you buy, but with a typical bag from the grocery store, I can usually get about 8 pieces of pizza. If your local store doesn't have that, that's OK. You can use Pillsbury pizza dough (it comes in the same type of container as crescent rolls). Just know that you'll have to do much less stretching and much more rolling to avoid breaking the dough. Also, the reason I slightly bake the crust before topping it is to avoid ending up with a crust that's not cooked on the bottom or in the middle because I loaded it with too many toppings when it was raw.

*Chicken tenders: When I use this phrase, I mean “chicken tenders” as “raw chicken.” I do not mean breaded chicken fingers. If you would prefer to use chicken tenders, you’d have to pre-cook them, then cut them into small pieces and skip the grilling portion. Up to you, but just wanted to clarify.

*Pizza stone: Just a reminder for stone newbs, or in case you were just looking for some hints. Here are my best pizza stone tips. If you don't have a pizza stone -- a round terra cotta stone that can be heated to very high temperatures to give food a crisp -- that's okay. For this, you can use parchment paper on a cookie sheet, but you may need to slightly adjust the cooking temperature and time for whatever the parchment paper degree limit is. If you have a pizza stone and (like me) hadn't used it until recently, here are a few things you should know:

-Always let your pizza stone stay in the oven "baking" for about half an hour to 45 minutes before adding food to it. Otherwise, the stone can break if it's subjected to too much heat too quickly. Not allowing it to preheat can also cause whatever you cook on it to stick. In this case, sprinkle additional corn meal on the stone before you put the dough on it.

-Double up on the pot holders. You'll burn your hands very, very easily if you attempt to grab a 450-degree inch of terra cotta. Do yourself (and your fingerprints) a favor, and use two. Before you take the stone out of the oven to place whatever you plan to cook on top of it, make sure you have a plan for where you'll set it down to do that. You don't want to end up melting whatever you set it down on.

-Don't worry if oil gets onto the stone. That's actually good. The more oil bakes into the stone, the more "seasoned" and "weathered" it is for baking.

-Don't wash your pizza stone with soap. If you do, it will have the same effect as if you dumped oil all over it -- you'll taste Palmolive in all your foods from now on. Just use cold water, and let the stone cool completely (even overnight) before "washing."

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