One of my favorite kinds of pizza is BBQ Chicken, especially from California Pizza Kitchen. Instead of heading out to CPK and spending money, I decided to make homemade pizza using the California Pizza Kitchen cookbook that has been sitting on my bookshelf for years unused. It is actually a pretty good cookbook but we just don't make pizzas often enough to use it all that much. The CPK cookbook has the recipe for their pizza dough as well as their most popular pizzas, including the BBQ Chicken.
I used all of the same ingredients that the CPK recipe calls for but I changed the amounts to my liking, and instead of making their pizza dough, I bought some pizza dough from Whole Foods. I had no idea up until a few days ago that many specialty grocery stores have pizza dough to purchase. For those of you in Des Moines, you can purchase pizza dough at Gateway Market as well as their homemade pizza sauce. I haven't done this myself but my sister informed me of this the other night. I thought this was a great idea to save myself some time and still get the great flavor of homemade dough, so I went to the big Whole Foods near me and picked some up! The Whole Foods by me had both plain and whole wheat pizza doughs. I had to get the plain because they didn't have any whole wheat made, but I'm definitely going to try that next time! All you have to do when you are ready to create is put some flour on the ball of dough and either roll it out or use your hands to form the pizza. The pizza turned out great and tasted just as good as CPK. The crust tasted fresh and much better than the store bought pizza crusts. I'm looking forward to trying some different combinations on this pizza dough, and hopefully making some of my own dough soon!
(Feel free to use more or less BBQ sauce, cheese and chicken. The nice thing about pizza is that the measurements don't have to be exact.)
1 recipe for pizza dough (homemade or store bought)
Flour for handling the dough
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray's Honey BBQ)
1/4 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
1 cup (use more if you like) Shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 small red onion, sliced thin
2 Tablespoons Chopped Cilantro (use to your liking)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash the chicken breasts and pat dry. Salt the chicken breasts on both sides and then place in an ovenproof dish. Pour some BBQ sauce over the breasts and turn them over to coat both sides. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until chicken is done. Remove from the oven and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Set aside and increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees.
Roll/stretch out the pizza dough using flour for handling the dough. Lay it on a sheet pan or round pizza pan drizzled with olive oil. Drizzle/brush a little olive oil on top of the dough as well.
Use a large spoon or brush to spread evenly the remaining BBQ sauce onto the dough. Sprinkle the Gouda cheese over the sauce. Cover with 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese. Distribute chicken pieces evenly over the cheese. (I did not use all of the chicken) Place pieces of thinly sliced red onion onto the pizza. Sprinkle an additional 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese over the top of the pizza.
Bake for 10-15 minutes at 500 degrees or until crust is crisp and golden and the cheese at the center is bubbly. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro. Slice and serve.
*** Adapted from The California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook