Sunflower from the Sunflower State

Sunflower from the Sunflower State

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Thanksgiving is probably the most traditional food holiday around. Let's just say we turned Thanksgiving on its ear this year.

No turkey for us. Dressing was nowhere to be found. Grits took the place of mashed potatoes and gravy. The closest thing to a traditional ham was bacon.

To follow up our South Carolina shrimp and grits Thanksgiving dinner, Brent and I collaborated on BBQ Chicken Pizza for supper. A friend in his master's program had brought a similar pizza to a party. I looked at some recipes online. He tried to remember what she'd included in her version.

And we came up with a pretty tasty pizza. I'm fairly confident it will appear on his table and in the County Line kitchen again.

Brent's apartment kitchen isn't what we would call spacious. Counter space is at a premium, and let's just say that his pantry isn't quite as diverse as mine. We purchased a refrigerated pizza dough at his neighborhood grocery store. (His sister will be glad to see that we got whole wheat.)

Using the prepared crust was easy and tasty, too, but you can certainly make your own homemade version. I probably will, since my grocery store doesn't have handy, dandy bags of pizza dough (plus it's easy to do with some flour, yeast, water and salt)!

Serve with a green salad or some fresh vegetables, and enjoy!

BBQ Chicken Pizza
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 pound chicken tenders
1/2 to 1 whole red pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, diced
4-6 slices of bacon, cooked until crisp, then chopped
Approximately 2/3 cup barbecue sauce of choice (We used Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 pkg. refrigerated pizza dough (or make your own homemade)
Approximately 2 cups shredded cheese (We used a fiesta blend with cheddar and mozzarella)
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Chop chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces and saute until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside. Toss with about 2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce.

In the same skillet, cook diced peppers and onion in oil, sauting until tender. (We cooked the bacon in the microwave, but you could also add the bacon to this step, cooking until browned and crispy.) Combine the vegetables, bacon and chicken; toss together until ingredients are evenly distributed.

In a large pan, spread your pizza dough out evenly. You can use a large pizza pan or a 15- by 10-inch rectangle pan.

Top with remaining barbecue sauce. Spread chicken mixture evenly over the BBQ sauce. Top with shredded cheeses and sprinkle with Parmesan cheeses. Sprinkle minced cilantro leaves on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Cut into pieces and serve.

Notes: If you really wanted to make this easy and you live in a larger town than I do, you could use a rotisserie chicken instead of browning your own chicken. You could also get peppers and onions from a salad bar so you didn't have to chop. The grocery store where Brent shops doesn't have a salad bar, so we did the chopping ourselves.

We were in South Carolina, so we didn't have Curly's BBQ sauce, which is what we usually use. But Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce was good, and I did see it's available in Kansas as well. Also, we didn't actually measure. Just spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce over the pizza dough. I got the measurement from another recipe because I know some people don't like the whole "use your own judgement" recipe notes!

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