There’s always an exception to every rule, isn’t there?
Normally, I’m a pizza minimalist. I don’t want too many toppings or much sauce. Sometimes no sauce. Throw some thinly sliced asparagus and pecorino romano on a slab o’ dough with some salt and I’m happy. Well, bake it first please. Then I’m happy.
But… BUT! When we’re talking about the BBQ chicken variety, that all goes out the window. I want that pizza loaded with toppings. Loaded I tell you!
In other rule-breaking news: I’m a thin crust girl all the way, but not for this. Not that I really have a choice… Pounds of toppings + thin crust = failure and sadness.
I use my go-to pizza dough recipe for this, which – I’m slightly ashamed to say – I got from… somewhere… years ago. I have no idea where, but it’s a pretty basic recipe; I found a bunch exactly like it while searching for the author. So I apologize mystery person(s), for not being able to properly credit you for this amazing dough recipe.
Rolled out the size of a standard pizza stone, this will make a pretty thick crust. I also use the same recipe to create two smaller thin crusts, or one delicious focaccia on a sheet pan.
For right now though, I’m pretty excited about this loaded, thick-crusted BBQ chicken pizza. So excited in fact, that I kind of forgot the all-important finishing drizzle of BBQ sauce at first. Wtf!!
Thankfully I remembered in time for my second piece. Phew!
That was a close one.
Loaded BBQ Chicken Pizza
If your pizza peel, like mine, was compromised in a move to a new city, or perhaps never existed in the first place, you can heat your pizza stone in the oven, remove it, quickly assemble the pizza right on the stone, and pop it back in the oven. If you don't have a pizza stone, you can use a baking sheet in its place.
- pizza dough, recipe follows
- cornmeal, for sprinkling
- olive oil, for brushing
- ~1/4 cup BBQ sauce, plus more to finish
- 1 3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken
- 1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup shredded pecornio romano cheese
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
- small handful cilantro, chopped
- 1 scallion, white & light green parts, thinly sliced
- Prepare the pizza dough as directed below. While it's rising, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 450 degrees. The longer it preheats, the better!
- On a floured surface, roll or pat out the dough to fit your pizza stone. If using a pizza peel, sprinkle it with cornmeal and place the dough on top. If using the method mentioned in the notes above, sprinkle the cornmeal directly on the preheated pizza stone and place the dough on there to assemble (make sure all your ingredients are prepped ahead of time and work quickly).
- Brush the outer edge of the dough with olive oil. Spoon enough BBQ sauce on the dough to coat it generously, leaving an inch or so for the crust. Sprinkle with salt. Top with the mozzarella, chicken, bell pepper, onion, and pecorino. Sprinkle with more salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, cheese is melted, and toppings are cooked.
- Once out of the oven, top the pizza with the cilantro, scallion, and an extra drizzle of BBQ sauce. Allow to cool 5 minutes before slicing.
All-purpose flour will work if you don't have bread flour, the crust will just be a bit less crispy.
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water. Let stand 5-10 minutes until the yeast blooms (it will look foamy).
- With the mixer on low, add the salt and olive oil. Start adding the flour slowly, until it has all been incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium and mix for a few minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape the dough off the hook. If the dough is feeling sticky, add more flour; too crumbly, add more water, always in small amounts. Once the dough gathers around the hook, turn it out onto a floured surface.
- Fold the dough over itself a few times and form into a ball. Place into a large, lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.