Hello & Happy Monday!
In Chicagoland, all we can talk about is the weather! Why? Today we have an exciting, potentially record-breaking high of -13F and a wind-chill approaching close to -45F!
A few days ago, I celebrated the New Year with my husband’s family. How did we do it? With a pizza party!
Well, that fiesta was so much fun that we did one again with my Mom, Dad, brothers, my brother’s girlfriend and husband. The party was on a Friday night right after work, so we used pre-made pizza dough (from Trader Joe’s) and made a few of the same pizzas I shared last time. Additionally, I made a BBQ Chicken Pizza, the pizza I used to make for my brothers when they were little.
I could only put cilantro on one side of the pizza because my mom started yelling that one of the boys would not eat anything green. They did not know I snuck red onions on the pizza, though. Shhh. That will be our little secret.
I really liked this style of entertaining/eating. Even with 9 people, it worked out great. The pizzas come out, one after another, at a leisurely pace, about every 15 minutes. I will be doing more meals that are as laid back and fun as this one as the year goes on, but with different cuisines.
Also, please pardon the photo. I was trying to snap a quick shot before the cutting board was literally ripped away by my mother and many hands descended on the pizza to devour it.
Here’s the easy “How to”:
Blaney Boys BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 pkg. Pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s brand )
semolina or cornmeal
1/3 c. BBQ Sauce (we like Sweet Baby Ray’s)
1.5 c. cooked, shredded chicken (Rotisserie chicken works well; save the rest for sandwiches, quesadillas, or soup)
1/4 c. finely diced red onion
2 c. Gouda &/or Fontina cheese, shredded
2 T. cilantro
Preheat oven to 500 F (or 475 if using convection). Make sure your oven is clean!
Sprinkle cornmeal or semolina on baking sheet. If using purchased pizza dough, let it sit at room temperature 20-30 minutes before baking. Flour your hands a little bit if needed and gently work (massage) the dough as it comes out of the package. Shape it to fit your baking sheet. If the dough is really springy/bounces back into place, let it rest for a few minutes before working the dough again.
Pre-bake the crust 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with BBQ sauce, then chicken & red onions. Add enough of Gouda and /or Fontina cheese to cover.
Bake another 7-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges of pizza start to turn golden.
Sprinkle with cilantro.