Back in the day, when I was interning at the Goodman Theatre, I brought in a slice of my BBQ chicken pizza for lunch. I was walking from the microwave to the room where we were having a lunch meeting and several other interns started hovering over my lunch, as hungry interns are often wont to do.
Now, I like to think the admiration of my pizza was due to the pizza and not just the noon-time hunger striking, but the world may never know. Unless, that is, you try out the recipe!
This is another one of those I-kinda-stole-this-from-a-Portland-restaurant recipes. For backing when I was interning in Maine (Yeah, I've done a lot of internships, five in fact. Six, if you count the two seperate summers at NVSF), my roommates and I fell in love with a pizza called the "Harbor Master" at Portland Pie. I'd never been much for chicken on pizza before, but man - this one was good. And now that I'm approximately 1,086 miles away from a Portland Pie, I had to start making them on my own. My biggest change is the removal of a standard pizza sauce for straight-up BBQ sauce goodness.
Depending on what I have around the house this shifts around a little: sometimes they'll be bacon, sometimes basil, sometimes just chicken and cheese. Pizza's good that way.
BBQ Chicken Pizza (adapted from Portland Pie Co.)
1 large boneless, skinless chicken boob cut into small pieces.
1 package of pizza dough (mine's wheat and from Trader Joes, I've used the Pillsbury in a can quite often, and of course, you could always make your own if you're feeling fancy)
corn meal for the pan/stone
barbeque sauce - my ultimate favorite is the Chicago-based Sweet Baby Ray's, but as Mr. Cleaver and I learned when we tried to bring some to his mom as a gift, it's available all over the USA now.
½ white onion, diced (optional)
3 strips bacon, chopped (optional)
basil (fresh or dried or optional)
cheese (so not optional) I usually use a whole bag of the italian mix, but again, you could get all fancy and grate you own.
Preheat the oven to 400-425°F. Sprinkle your pizza pan/stone/cookie sheet with some cornmeal to prevent sticking and place rolled out dough on top.
If using, brown the diced onions in a little butter, just enough to the the raw taste off. Remove onions and cook bacon in same pan.
At this point, I usually put the crust (sans anything) into the oven to pre-bake for about 5 minutes.
After the bacon is cooked, remove and drain any fat. Cook the chicken bits until throughly cooked through. Shred any large chicken pieces with a fork. Coat the shreed chicken with BBQ sauce.
Take your pre-baked crust and cover with BBQ sauce like you would any thin pizza sauce. (see below).
Once you're all sauced up, add the cheese. Then top with the chicken, bacon, onion, and basil, and maybe a little more cheese (I never said this was healthy). Put it all back in the oven and cook for another 5-7 minutes or until the cheese is all good and melty.
Let cool a tad (I'm notoriously bad for burning my mouth on food), slice and serve.
And see if a couple of interns don't start sniffing their way over :)