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BBQ Chicken Pizza

August 3, 2012

BBQ chicken pizza may have been invented and popularized by California Pizza Kitchen, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t easy and simple to make at home.  While CPK’s bbq chicken pizza may be my favorite, there’s just something about making something yourself, to enjoy in the comfort of your own home that’s quite appealing.  And while our kitchen may not rival California Pizza Kitchen’s we can still turn out a mean bbq chicken pizza of our own!

Ok, so we will cheat a little bit.  This may be a homemade pizza, but we do use a little bit of store bought help in the form of a Boboli pizza crust.  Making our own pizza crust would probably be better, but when you come home from work and need to cook dinner, it’s also a lot more time-consuming.  And since Boboli also supplies us with pre-packaged pizza sauce, we also will use that as well.

Additionally, you’ll also need, of course, the chicken, bbq sauce, mozzarella (in this case, we used fresh mozzarella), red onion, and cilantro.  And you’ll also need some additional seasonings for the pizza sauce.

Start by shredding the fresh mozzarella.  Fresh mozzarella on pizza just seems to be more authentic than using store-bought, pre-shredded mozzarella.  But, hey, there’s nothing wrong with that either and we’ve used that many times as well.

We enjoy chicken breast meat, so that’s what we used.  We took chicken breasts and cut them into strips.  The chicken will be grilled before being assembled on the pizza.

Thinly slice some red onions.  I personally prefer to use red onions in making bbq chicken pizza.  They are a little sweeter and when they are cooked provide a different taste from a brown or yellow onion.

With the Boboli pizza sauce provided, pour the package into a bowl.  While we use their pre-made sauce, we also doctor it up a little bit.  We’ll add some olive oil, herbs in the form of dried oregano and Italian seasonings, as well as bbq sauce to form our new pizza sauce.  The bbq sauce added to the pizza sauce is what helps make this bbq chicken pizza.  We don’t want to use only bbq sauce because that tends to burn in the oven, and also it will make the pizza too sweet.  A combination of pizza sauce and bbq sauce works perfectly.

Start by caramelizing the sliced red onions.  This will help to bring out the natural sweetness of the red onion.  Even though the pizza will be baked in the oven, everything that goes on the pizza needs to be cooked before assembling the pizza.  The baking process only helps to meld the ingredients together, not cook them.

Now it’s time to start cooking the chicken strips.  We like to grill ours just to give it that added smokiness.  When the chicken is grilled and cooked through, we’ll take straight bbq sauce and baste it right over the grilled chicken.  Again, this adds to the bbq chicken flavor.

Let the bbq sauce cook into the chicken.  Once the bbq chicken is done, add it into the pan with the caramelized onions.  Mix the chicken and the onions together so there’s an even distribution of chicken.  Set this aside for a few minutes.  It’s time to beginning assembling the pizza.

Chop up the fresh cilantro.  My husband and I love cilantro, so we’ll use a lot of it.  Using whole cilantro leaves is a bit too much, so just roughly chop them down to smaller pieces.

Take the pizza crust, and spread the pizza sauce/bbq sauce combination you made over the entire crust.

Now top the sauce with a thin layer of cheese.  Use only about 1/3 of the shredded mozzarella here.  The rest will be reserved to top the entire pizza once you’ve assembled it.  Adding a little bit of cheese now helps the other ingredients to adhere to the pizza once the cheese melts as the pizza is in the oven.

Go back to your pan of bbq chicken and caramelized red onions and start piling the chicken and onions over the top of the pizza.  Make sure you distribute the bbq chicken over the entire pizza so that you chicken in every bite of pizza!

Next, add the fresh chopped cilantro over the bbq chicken and caramelized red onions.  Since we like cilantro, we covered the entire pizza with it.  Of course, you can just sprinkle some on if you don’t love it nearly as much as we do.  You can also reserve a little bit of chopped cilantro to sprinkle over the pizza when it comes out of the oven.

Finally, take the rest of the shredded mozzarella and top the entire pizza with cheese.  Pop the pizza into a pre-heated 350 degree oven and let it bake.

What you get in about 18-20 minutes is a gorgeous, delicious, bbq chicken pizza.  You can taste the bbq flavor, but it isn’t overly sweet and tangy.  You can taste the fresh mozzarella, and the fresh cilantro and the sweetness of the caramelized red onions.  This is a perfect meal that’s easy and fun to make.  And just a little something different.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 3, 2012 2:43 pm

    It may not be California Pizza (which I have not had) but it looks very good and I’m sure it was perfect after a day at work.

  2. August 3, 2012 7:59 pm

    I’ve never had CPK!! Can you believe it? We’ve made BBQ chicken pizza a couple times this year and it’s been really good, and it’s SOOOOO pretty, too!

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