Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Baja Chicken Pizza with Bacon and Cilantro

I mean, come on, what more could you want in a pizza? I was inspired by Quizznos a few months back with their Baja Chicken sandwich, which I recreated on this blog last month. I was all geared up to make it again when I realized my bread supply was low and I didn't have enough time before dinner to make a fresh batch. "Pizza!" I thought. Ah! This creation is SO DANG GOOD! I think that it is important to have a bit of cilantro, onion and bacon in every bite, so dice these up into medium pieces and give them good coverage over the entire crust. I used half wheat four in this crust and it was excellent. I think it would be fine with whole wheat crust, or white, whichever you prefer.

Pizza Crust
adapted from Jessica Crapo's recipe

1 c. warm water
1 T. yeast
1 t. sugar
2 T. oil
1 t. salt
2 1/2 c. flour

Combine water, sugar and salt in bowl of mixer (not required) and let sit for 5 minutes until foamy and puffy. Add the remaining ingredients and knead, adding additional flour by the teaspoon if needed, until dough doesn't stick to bottom and sides of bowl, about 3-4 minutes. This dough is very soft so you may need to help it at first and use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl. If you don't have a mixer, knead by hand, lightly oiling surface and your hands to knead for about 3-4 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Let sit while you prepare toppings.

Baja Chicken Pizza with Bacon and Cilantro

3/4 c. Open Pit BBQ sauce
2 c. cooked, diced chicken
3/4 - 1 lb. good bacon, cooked and torn into medium pieces
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1/2 c. thinly sliced red onion
1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven and pizza stone to 425 degrees. With lightly greased hands, form dough into a pizza crust by using fingertips to spread dough outwards on counter top. Once in a disk about 6-8 inches in diameter, hold dough up by one edge and rotate around to let the weight of the dough stretch itself out, taking care to not let the center get too thin, but encouraging the edges to stretch as well, until 14 inches in diameter. Remove hot stone from oven and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place dough on hot stone and situate so it fits nicely over stone. Brush sauce over crust with a pastry brush or bottom of large pasta spoon,getting some on edges of crust. Then sprinkle chicken, bacon, half of cheese, then red onion and cilantro over as well. Top with remaining cheese. Bake for 12-15 minutes until crust and cheese is lightly browned.

1 comment:

valerie said...

This looks so good. I'm going to try this one. I love a good pizza recipe.

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