Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Buffalo Chicken Wing Pizza

I like pizza. I like chicken wings.  I like to put the two together.

My husband requested pizza the other night, as I hadn't made it in a while.  It's really very easy and takes about an hour and fifteen minutes start to finish, including bake time and the time it take to let the pizza dough rise.

I start by making my pizza dough.  I use a basic pizza dough recipe that takes about fifteen minutes to make, including ten minutes to let the yeast proof.  While I'm waiting for the dough to rise, I prepare my chicken.

You can use whatever kind of chicken you like, but it must be cooked before you put it on the pizza, as the cooking time isn't long enough to cook the chicken in the oven.  I like to cut a large chicken breast into small pieces.  I season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder.  I then saute the chicken in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, using a combination of about a teaspoon of chili oil and a tablespoon of olive oil.  I try not to overcook the chicken, as it will have about 15 to 20 minutes in the oven.  If you cut your pieces small, I'd say you have to give them only about 5 minutes in the skillet.

Once the dough has doubled in size, I then shape it into a round pizza.  For ease of transfer to my pizza stone, I make the pizza right on my pizza peel.  I grease a sheet of aluminum foil with shortening, then sprinkle corn meal on it.  Then I shape my dough.  Very easy.  The aluminum foil goes into the oven under the pizza, and in addition to making life a lot easier in getting the pizza in and out of the oven, I find it adds a little extra crisp to the dough.  If you don't have a pizza stone, you can use a round pizza pan instead of the aluminum foil.  I just leave my pizza stone in my lower oven, and it heats up while the oven is preheating.

If you like, you can brush olive oil around the outside edge; this gives the crust a little extra flavor and a lovely golden brown color, but I usually only do this when I'm making "traditional" pizzas.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Now you add your toppings.

Start with a generous smear of buffalo wing sauce.  You can use whatever brand you like, but I recommend Louisiana brand wing sauce.  It's got just the right kick.

Next, I like to swirl ranch salad dressing around the pizza.  You can use creamy blue cheese if you prefer. Then smooth it into the wing sauce with the back of a spoon.

Lick the spoon, give yourself a little shake as the wing sauce singes your sinuses.

Now, spread the chicken and crumbly blue cheese evenly over the pizza.  Then add shredded mozzarella or an Italian cheese blend over the top.

Transfer the pizza to the oven.

Set the timer for 15 minutes.  In my oven, this is usually plenty.  You want the cheese to be melted and the bottom of the crust to be browned.  Depending on your oven and whether you're using a pizza stone or a pizza pan, you may have to give it more time.  But keep an eye on the cheese so it doesn't burn.

Cut your pizza into wedges.  I usually get eight pieces from my pizza.  Serve it up to family and friends - or save it for yourself!

Wrap leftover pizza in aluminum foil and refrigerate.  Reheat in a 350 degree oven or toaster oven until it's hot and bubbly again.

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