People like to get together with friends and family by sitting down and enjoying a pizza or gathering around a BBQ to celebrate a personal, national, or global day of joy and togetherness.
Pizza is a perfect food because it caters to everyone's tastes and you can go as simple as a Margherita or as fancy as the craziest toppings. Speaking of which, what about BBQ sauce, and perhaps even small chicken bites mixed together as an extravagant topping? Mind you, the marriage of pizza and BBQ chicken will ruffle some feathers in the pizza purists' world.
Pizza is indeed a sort of non-sacred ritual that unites all of us. However, there are those for whom experimenting with pizza is not up for discussion: perfection was already achieved a long time ago and there's no reason for any creative attempt or temptation. There's no such thing as playing with 'not approved' ingredients. Take pineapple pizza or kiwi pizza: shivers down some spines.
But putting aside any personal preference or respect for tradition, experimenting with foods and ingredients has always represented an essential element in culinary evolution to trace new paths for taste and continuous surprises for the palate. This is why we present you today with the BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe. But before we get to the recipe, let's look at some history.
Who invented barbecue chicken pizza?
Before the 1980s, the selection of pizza toppings was pretty limited. But in California, Ed LaDou, pizza chef at Wolfgang Puck's Spago restaurant, was known for introducing very unusual ingredients into his pizza recipes at a time when innovative toppings were highly unconventional and experimental. The glitterati flocked to Spago to try them out. However, the creations of LaDou didn't reach the general public until 1985, when he partnered up with the California Pizza Kitchen chain. Of all his new flavours, BBQ chicken was the most in-demand, and it remains on the menu at California Pizza Kitchen to this day.
Serves for: 4
Total time: 25 mins
Pizza dough (homemade or store-bought) for one large pizza
Cooked chicken, shredded rotisserie, or 2 chicken breasts, 1 1/2 cups.
Shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 cups
BBQ sauce, 1/2 cup
Very thinly sliced 1/4 large red onion
- Pre-bake the dough for six minutes at 450 °F (about 232 °C)
- Spread a thin layer of bbq sauce over the pre-baked crust. Top with sliced red onion and a thin layer of mozzarella cheese.
- Put shredded rotisserie chicken in a bowl and top it with bbq sauce. Toss to combine. Place chicken pieces over the pizza.
- Top the pizza with another thin layer of cheese.
- For the cheese to bubble and the crust to brown, bake at 450 °F (about 232 °C) for 10 - 15 minutes.
Rotisserie chicken can save time, but any cooked, shredded chicken will do. Leftover chicken can be used as well. Just a note of warning: raw chicken should not be put on your pizza because it will not have enough time to cook and in this case, it will not be safe to eat.
Make sure you use your absolute favourite smoky BBQ sauce. It'll be just right, perfect in every single bite, tangy and sweet and spicy.
While you can inhale this delicious pizza simply as is, you can go wild and enjoy it with your favourite toppings. These go well with the BBQ situation: smoky bacon, pineapple, Cheddar cheese, smoked Gouda, creamy Gorgonzola, Ranch dressing, black beans, jalapeños, spinach, pickled onions, corn, fresh cilantro.
For a spicier onion flavour, use red onions. Sweet or yellow onions make a milder flavour.
Storage and freezing
Wrap the cooled and baked pizza tightly in plastic wrap before storing. The pizza can be kept stored in the refrigerator for three days. Reheat the pizza before serving.
Wrapped tightly, baked and cooled pizza slices can be frozen for up to 3 months.
Aren't you curious about pizza toppings around the world? Let your tastebuds travel from Turkey to Australia and discover the bountiful possibilities.