Buffalo Chicken Pizza

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My husband and I both enjoy a good Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and we often judge a pizza joint by its version.  There are a few prerequisites: First, the chicken must be tossed in wing sauce, second it must have blue cheese, and third, there must be either blue cheese or ranch dressing served on the side (for dipping or drizzling).  Sometimes, when I make my own, I like to sprinkle the pie with thinly sliced celery and carrot confetti as a nod to the veggie sticks side served with wings.  Personally, I enjoy the freshness of this addition, but my husband isn’t a big fan.  If I’m making this pizza specifically for him, I simply serve veggie sticks and dip in lieu of a salad and omit them as a topping.

 

Buffalo Grilled Chicken

1 large chicken breast

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 Tbsp hot sauce, such as Frank’s

 

1. Place the chicken in a plastic zip bag.  Add the remaining ingredients to the bag, then push out as much air as possible and zip it shut.  Using your hands, massage the ingredients into the chicken.  Marinate the meat in the refrigerator for 4 to 8 hours.  Remove it from the fridge half an hour before cooking.

2. Heat your grill or grill pan over high heat (if you’re using a charcoal grill, this means direct heat over the coals).  Lightly coat the grill surface with cooking spray or vegetable oil.  Place the chicken on the heated grill surface and cook, covered (by a grill lid or tented aluminum foil), 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until cooked through.

3. Remove the chicken from the grill surface and let it stand on a cutting board for 10 minutes.  After allowing the meat to rest, thinly slice it against the grain.

 

Pizza Dough

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading

3/4 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp kosher salt

3/4 cup water

3 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing the parchment paper

 

1. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add the water and olive oil and mix with a wooden spoon until a shaggy, sticky dough forms.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead into a smooth, elastic ball, 2-3 minutes.

2. Divide the dough in half and shape each half into round, flat disks.   Wrap each disk loosely in plastic wrap and let them rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes.  (This step can be done in advance.)

3. While the dough rests, brush the tops of 4 sheets of parchment paper with olive oil.  Unwrap each disk of dough and place it onto the oiled side of one piece of parchment paper.   Top the dough with the remaining pieces of parchment paper, oiled sides down.  You should have two parchment paper-dough sandwiches.  Using your hands, gently press and spread the dough until it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick.  You decide the shape (circle, rectangle, oval, giant uneven blob—it’s your creation).

4. Remove the top piece of parchment paper and place the dough (still resting on the bottom piece of parchment paper) in the oven on a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet.  Bake for 5 minutes, then remove the dough from the oven and allow it to cool for a few minutes.  You can repeat this step with the second disk of dough, or you can save it for another occasion.

 

Pizza

Pizza Dough recipe (see above)

8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup crumbled Gorgonzola (or your favorite blue cheese), or to taste

Buffalo Grilled Chicken recipe (see above)

1/4 cup hot sauce, such as Franks, plus more to taste

1/8 cup thinly sliced celery, optional

1/8 cup carrot confetti (see note), optional

Blue cheese or ranch dressing, optional

 

1. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.  Prepare the crust as directed.

2. After par-baking the crust, drizzle it with a little hot sauce to taste.  Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the crust, leaving a half-inch border of exposed dough around the circumference of the pie.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the mozzarella, followed by the crumbled blue cheese.  If you are using the celery and carrot confetti, now’s the time to add them to the pizza.

3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, toss to chicken with the hot sauce.  Taste and add more hot sauce if desired.

4. Distribute the chicken evenly over the pizza, then return the pizza (on its parchment paper), back into the oven.  Bake for 5-8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the crust is crisp.

5. Remove the pizza from the oven, allow it to cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing and a bottle of hot sauce on the side.

Makes 8 slices.

 

🥕 To make carrot confetti, use a vegetable peeler to create carrot ribbons.  Stack the ribbons on top of each other, then using a sharp knife, chop them into confetti-sized pieces).

 

 

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