{Barbecue Chicken Pizza}

Barbecue Chicken Pizza

When Jeff and I were dating, we used to love to go to California Pizza Kitchen for their Barbecue Chicken Pizza. When we got older and started cooking on our own, it became our mission to make the best and closest copy at our own home. Now, this pizza is something we make at least once a month, and probably more like once every two weeks. In fact, when I told Jeff I wanted to blog about it, he was so sure that I already had that I had to do a search on my own blog! Like I thought, it wasn’t there, but I’m happy to be sharing the recipe with you now because it’s that good!

There’s just something comforting about BBQ chicken pizza–it tastes like it should be horrible for you, but if you use the right ingredients, it can be a pretty decent meal. We like to use Trader Joe’s barbecue sauce because it actually has real ingredients in it and not all of that processed sugar, but use what you like best. Also, I think the cilantro is the icing on the cake, but I would put cilantro on pretty much everything if I had the choice!

We used our standard pizza dough recipe (below), but you could also use a pre-made one as well. We love the Trader Joe’s dough when we’re feeling lazy!

Pizza Dough Recipe:

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 package (1/4 oz.) of active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
Steps:
  1. Measure one cup of warm water (approx. 110 degrees)
  2. Transfer water to medium size bowl
  3. Rehydrate yeast by sprinkling it into the warm water for 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast.
  4. Add first two tablespoons of olive oil, sugar, and salt to the yeast mixture.
  5. Mix in 2 cups of flour
  6. Turn out the dough onto a clean, well-floured surface
  7. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until no longer sticky. Add more flour as necessary while you knead
  8. Transfer the kneaded dough into a bowl with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  9. Cover with a moist cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about 2 hours).
  10. Punch down and form a tight ball. Allow the dough to rest for 15 minutes before rolling out.
  11. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Let dough rise for another 15 minutes before applying toppings.

Barbecue Chicken Pizza Recipe:

Makes 4 servings

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

Pizza dough (see above), rolled out to about 18 inches in diameter

1 chicken breast

1 cup mozzarella cheese, packed

1/2 cup Trader Joe’s barbecue sauce

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro

1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika

1 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Pepper

Olive Oil

Steps:

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Heat olive oil in a small frying pan over medium heat.

In a small bowl, combine paprika, pepper, salt to form a rub.

Coat chicken breast with rub and place in frying pan. Sear chicken on both sides, remove and cut into strips, then place back in frying pan. Fry until cooked all the way through, about 2-3 minutes. Remove chicken and chop.

Place pizza dough on a large baking sheet or pizza stone. Coat with barbecue sauce then add cheese, red onion, and chicken.

Place in oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust has slightly browned.

Top with cilantro, slice, and enjoy!

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{The Calzones}

Calzone

Jeff and I finally got our act together last night, so as promised, here are the calzones!

In addition to being a bit  lazy this week, we were also in a recipe rut. We had discussed several recipe options but were just not very excited by any of our ideas. Jeff wanted to make pesto pizza with some Trader Joe’s pizza dough we had frozen just to have on hand, but I was looking for something a little more out of the box. And with that, the pizza turned into calzones! I know, I know, it’s basically just pizza folded over and with more carbs (mmm… love my carbs!) but it was enough of a departure for me!

Like usual, we each made our own calzones with different ingredients. Mine: pesto, onion, yellow cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, and green onions. His: marinara, onion, pepperoni, onions, and green olives.

Mine

His

After doing a bit of online research, it seemed like the best way to get a perfect calzone was to bake them on lower heat and for quite a bit longer than a normal pizza. Our magic combination was 350 degrees for 40 minutes, so you’ll need to factor in a longer cook time when you’re getting ready to make them for dinner. Also, in order to get that nice brown outer crust, you have to either coat the outside of the calzone with an egg wash (egg + water) or with some melted butter.

The result? A familiar dinner with a new twist! Warning–these things were extremely filling. We split the pizza dough in half to make our own but I think I should have just used a fourth!

On to more recipe searching, so this failure doesn’t happen again next week!

{Greek Feta Pizza}

Greek Feta Pizza

One of our favorite restaurants to grab take-out at is a little mediterranean restaurant called Petra. Our go to item is their Greek Feta Pizza with pesto, spinach, onions, garlic, tomatoes, artichoke hearts and feta cheese. Although we could call our order in ahead of time, we usually just go in and enjoy some fresh pita bread and share a pint of beer while we wait just because we can.

On Friday night, we set out to recreate this pizza. Now Friday nights are usually our I don’t feel like cooking, let’s eat out nights, so to keep us on track, I grabbed one of Trader Joe’s pre-made pizza doughs and some pesto on my way home from work. From start to finish, the pizza took about 30 minutes to make and then about 10 minutes to devour. Ours didn’t have quite as much fat and oil as Petra’s, but it was still crazy good.

We also made a small salad on the side to complete the meal.

Salad

Here’s the Greek Feta Pizza Recipe:

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

1 plain Trader Joe’s pizza dough
1/2 cup pesto
1 cup mozzarella cheese, packed
1 cup fresh spinach, packed
6-8 marinated artichoke hearts
6-8 marinated green olives, chopped
1 medium heirloom tomato, chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese

Steps:

Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out pizza dough. Spread pesto to cover the surface then top with the mozzarella cheese.

Add spinach (it will look like a lot but will cook down), artichoke hearts, green olives, and tomato. Top with feta cheese.

Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until crust is golden brown and cheese has melted.

Enjoy!

Greek Feta Pizza

{Pizza Margherita}

Pizza Margherita

When I was in middle school, my family went on family vacation to Italy one summer. I loved touring around the country and visiting all of the fabulous historic sites, but the thing I remember the most is the food. Since I was young and picky, I would usually order the same thing whenever we went out to eat–a pizza margherita. It was still similar enough to food I would normally eat that I felt comfortable, but way more flavorful, fresh, and just all around amazing.

One of the weirdest things to me was the fact that they didn’t salt any of their dough or bread–I remember pouring salt out of the salt shaker to make the bread taste “normal,” although I was a little salt obsessed back then so it’s hard to know exactly how much salt it was actually missing.

Well the other night, Jeff and I decided to make our own pizza margherita (with salt!) for dinner. While it doesn’t even compare to the ones I ate in Italy, it was a more than satisfying week night meal that used up some of the myriad tomatoes we have lying around!

Here’s the recipe:

Serves 4

Note: We used this pizza crust recipe with 2 tablespoons of sugar instead of one–Jeff’s always experimenting with his pizza crust recipe but swears he’s perfected it–I guess we’ll see!

Print recipe!

Ingredients:

Dough:

homemade pizza dough + 1 tablespoon sugar

Sauce:

1/2 white onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 ounce fresh basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 6 oz. can tomato paste

2 tablespoons pesto

1 cup water

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

Toppings:

2 ounces mozzarella cheese

1 large tomato, sliced

1/2 ounce basil, chopped

Steps:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan until onions are translucent.

Add basil and cook for about 1 minute.

Add tomato paste and water and combine.

Stir in pesto, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Reduce until desired thickness.

Spread sauce evenly over pizza dough, then add cheese.

Bake initially for 15 minutes. Remove pizza and add tomatoes and basil. Bake for another 2-3 minutes.

Enjoy!