Thursday, September 2, 2010

Double Take: Bistro Grilled Chicken Pizza (sort of)

Technically, this recipe became a bit of a free for all. (Which I am elated about, by the way.) I really like Barbeque Chicken Pizza. I am not fond of chicken on pizza with tomato sauce. I mean, I'd eat it... but given the choice, I'd choose a barbeque sauce base every time to go with chicken. After talking it over, Mel decided we'd try grilled chicken pizza and toppings and sauces were given as taster's choice. I decided to marinate my chicken in my bbq sauce of choice...Mary Hoobler's sauce...what? you've never heard of it...never tasted it...oh the humanity! As a disclosure, this goes great on pork ribs. If you read the Margarita Pork Tenderloin posts, you are probably beginning to feel I really like pork. This is only partially true. I really like pork prepared in ways that are firecracker party in your mouth awesome. To the extent that I have trouble eating pork that isn't awesome. Anyway, I digress..Mary Hoobler's sauce is a barbeque sauce from the book Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut. Its an odd book. I read it b/c of the sauce recipe. No lie. I wondered if anything else in the book's recipes would sound or taste as good. None of the rest of them made me feel compelled to make them (in case you were wondering). I first had this sauce on ribs with Mel and Bender. It has become a favorite for me. In addition to ribs, it goes well on chicken, corn on the cob, ice cream (just kidding about the ice cream) but seriously the sauce is good. My only issue is that it really doesn't need all the oil that is in the original. In fact, it might not need as much as I'm about to list but ooh well. Also, I find that I tend to double the sauce. For one pizza, you just need the regular amount of sauce listed.

Mary Hoobler's sauce (slightly adapted)

1 c. chopped onions
3 chopped garlic cloves
1/2 stick (1/8 lb.) of butter
1/2 c. ketchup
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 dash Tabasco (1/8 tsp)
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp basil
1 Tbsp chili powder

Saute a cup of chopped onions and three chopped garlic cloves in an eighth pound of butter until tender. Add a half cup of catsup, a quarter cup of brown sugar, a teaspoon of salt, two teaspoons of freshly ground pepper, a dash of Tabasco, a tablespoon of lemon juice, a teaspoon of basil, and a Tbsp of chili powder. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes.


Before the sauce though, you need dough. Mel wasn't feeling making dough. I really like making bread. Lately, making bread has gone very well for me. Saturday was hot and sunny so I waited to make the dough so that it wouldn't rise too much. Hah hahaha to me. As my dough was set on the back porch the wind picked up a bit. I thought, “No problem. Its warm out, it'll rise just fine.” It became a problem when the temperature fell as a rainstorm came through. Nuts! I moved the dough but it refused to play nicely. I heated the oven slightly, it rose a little. In general, it became thin crust pizza dough with a disappointing yield. I want to blame the recipe but I don't think it would be fair. I think the weather played a role. A couple notes on the dough, I think they called for too much flour so as you reach 2 3/4 c., make sure you just work it in and don't have it too dry to be flexible and grow. If your dough feels dry, you can also use up to an extra Tbsp of oil.

Pizza Dough (Adapted from All New Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook)

1 c. warm water
1/8 tsp sugar
1 (1/4 oz) envelope active dry yeast
2 ¾ to 3 c. all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp oil (extra virgin, light olive, vegetable…whatever makes you happy)
1 Tbsp oil (same as above)

Place the warm water and sugar in a small boil. Add the yeast. Stir until dissolved and let sit for 5-7 minutes. (This proofs your yeast..If you don’t have bubbles, get fresh yeast. If it bubbles, continue.) Place 2 c. flour and the salt into a large bowl and mix together well. Add the yeast and 2 Tbsp oil. Continue mixing. Add more flour until you can form a ball. Adding too much flour will prevent your bread from having flexibility. Don’t feel the need to dump it all into the bowl. Once your mixture forms a ball, remove from the bowl, rinse the bowl out and rub the surface with 1 Tbsp of oil. Place your dough ball inside, cover (using plastic wrap or a smooth towel), and let rise until doubled in size. This should take between 1-2 hours. The warmer and dryer the faster it grows. After rising, punch down and divide the dough as desired. I divided it into 3 personal size pizzas and rolled it out. Allow the dough to rise until double again.

To use: Top with toppings as desired and bake at 400-425 F for 10-20 minutes. I use the cheese as a gauge. If the cheese is melted, the pizza is done.

What else did I need? I thawed chicken to be marinated and grilled. Then I chopped up an onion and some garlic. I placed them in foil and sat them in the oven with the dough to get a little roastiness going. I was set. After the dough "rose" once, I pushed it down (also laughable) and divided it into thirds. It made 3 small pizzas that were thin crusted. While I waited for the dough to rise again, I grilled the chicken on medium heat for between 15 - 20 minutes. The somewhat rise dough was plopped on a preheated grill and I waited four minutes. It puffed a little. Nice! This was definitely not the crust I expected but worked fine for the grill. After flipping, I became concerned by a small tear. I reverted to the oven for completion since I didn’t want to lose my pizza to an inability to remove it from the grill in one piece. This really may have been an unnecessary worry but I baked it in the oven at 400-425 F anyway.

Toppings? Grilled chicken with Mary Hoobler’s sauce marinade, oven roasted garlic and onion, and basil on top of a 50/50 blend of Mary Hoobler’s sauce with KC masterpiece hickory. The pizza was topped with shredded whole milk mozzarella. Mary Hoobler’s was blended with KC masterpiece so that a) KC masterpiece had flavor b) Mary Hoobler’s had the texture of pizza sauce. Overall, the pizza had some kick from Mary Hoobler’s and I enjoyed it hot and cold (when I finished the leftovers).

Next time: I plan to use a different dough recipe. The only resemblance this has to southern living’s recipe was basil and chicken. I liked the toppings, but I prefer a thick crust that I can pick up with my hands more easily. Further iterations are required to get this just right.

Check out what Mel did with her version of the pizza over at Fabulously Fun Food.

Tell me…What’s your favorite pizza?


  1. My favorite pizza? Restaurant or Homemade? Restaurant is Mellow Mushroom's Magical Mystery Tour with onions. Homemade: a slew of mushrooms and onions with a sprinkle of hot Italian sausage. :)

  2. My favorite is homemade on the grill with sausage and broccoli raabe. Yummy.