I really like good food, but there is a special place in my heart for pizza delivery. It just shows up, right when you want it. All those junior high memories of blissfully gorging yourself on pizza and soda without thoughts of obesity, diabetes, kidney failure, or high blood pressure just come flooding back (too bad that now I do worry about obesity, diabetes, kidney failure, and high blood pressure: it's sad what time and education will do to you).
So, angered that I couldn't just conjure up my instantaneous order of barbecue chicken pizza or whatever they call it at Papa Johns, I would just make up my own. Now, it wasn't really anything like delivery pizza, or really anything like almost any pizza. It ended up being much thicker than I anticipated (more fork-food than finger food), but liked it. Here it goes.
Hawaiian Chicken Pizza
Pizza dough (there are many great recipes for pizza dough out there: feel free to use another)
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 envelope yeast
- 2 cups flour (plus up to 1/4 cup more)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup barbecue sauce (preferably a sweet sauce, like honey barbecue)
- 1 large chicken breast, cut into strips and grilled
- 1 cup pineapple tidbits, drained
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese (I buy a block and then cut it into coarse chunks)
- 1 green bell pepper, cut into rings or strips
- 1/4 red onion, cut into thin rings
- 1 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
- 1/4 cup crushed bacon strips (optional)
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds (optional)
- a few sprigs fresh cilantro (optional)
Pour the yeast into the hot water and let sit for a few minutes. Mix together the flour, salt, and sugar, then add the water/yeast and the olive oil. Stir until coated. Knead well in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment on low for about 8 - 10 minutes, or by hand (you'll build some serious muscle doing it that way). Put the dough in a bowl coated with a little more olive oil, and cover with plastic wrap. Let sit until the dough has risen to twice its original size (about an hour). Beat it down some, then spread it out on an oiled and floured pizza stone, cookie sheet, or pizza pan.
Top the dough the barbecue sauce, then start with all the rest of the toppings. You can do it however you want, but I kind of like to layer it. This is how I did it: put the chicken and pineapple onto the layer of barbecue sauce, then cover with the mozzarella cheese. Layer the pepper and onion on top of the cheese with the cilantro (if using). Cover with the remaining cheese, then put the bacon and almonds on top.
Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, checking regularly until the crust is golden brown, the cheese is melted, and the almonds have started to brown a little.
Better than Papa Johns. Vindication at last.