BBQ chicken pizza with roasted poblano peppers and pepitas, with vegetarian option.
There's a nearby restaurant my husband and I love to go to that's very popular with local families, Joe's Taco Lounge. Our favorite dish on the menu is Oaxaca Pizza with BBQ Chicken, made spicy with poblano peppers and salsa. Yes, I know, chicken isn't on the vegetarian menu. But when we eat out, I eat some fish, and when we go to Joe's, I get this pizza. It's absolutely the best pizza I've ever had. So for this week's Sunday Supper, since the theme is “Spice It Up” hosted by Amy at the Kimchi Mom blog, I decided to try to recreate it at home.
First I needed to make pizza dough. I've tried a bazillion recipes for pizza dough over the years, and Peter Reinhart's is by far my favorite. I can't imagine making it any other way now. There's a big range in pizza dough, and this one makes a Napoletana, thin and crispy crust. It has great texture and flavor. If you don't have his book, Bread Baker's Apprentice, the recipe is also on 101 Cookbooks.
To make this vegetarian, just omit the chicken and stir two tablespoons of the BBQ sauce into the tomato sauce. Scatter a few Roasted Balsamic Tomato halves on top of the tomato sauce, and increase the amount of poblano peppers. I also recommend laying on an additional cheese. Having two different cheeses can bring a nice depth of flavor to the pizza.
Peter Reinhart's recipe calls for letting the dough sit in the refrigerator overnight, and I generally skip that step, although I'm sacrificing some flavor. I allow it to rise for 2 hours in a warm area of my kitchen instead, and then continue with the recipe.
Once you're ready to form the 9″ pizzas, I lightly flour the flattened disk of dough and my hands, and transfer it to parchment paper placed on an upturned baking sheet. I then stretch the dough gently by lifting the edges all around the pizza, allowing the dough to stretch a little at a time. It's then ready for the toppings.
For making this at high altitude:
* Add another 2 tablespoons ice water to the dough
* Rub olive oil between your hands and pat the dough with it anytime it's resting under plastic. Be generous with the oil.
* Bake the pizzas for 13 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned and the toppings are bubbly.
BBQ Chicken Pizza + Poblanos
- Pizza dough for 2 pizzas or make your own
- 1/2 cup your favorite spicy tomato/pizza sauce
- 1 poblano pepper
- 1 roasted chicken breast I bought a pre-roasted chicken
- 1 Tbsp your favorite BBQ sauce
- 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese or more if you prefer
- 1 Tbsp toasted pepitas
- I like to make my own pizza dough, but you can buy dough if you're in a rush.
- Preheat the oven to 500˚F with a pizza stone on the bottom rack one hour before you plan to bake the pizzas.
- Place the poblano pepper under the broiler until the skin blisters, around 10 minutes. Flip the pepper over and slip it back under the broiler for another 5 - 7 minutes. Place the pepper in a bag for 10 minutes. Pull it out and peel the skin off. Cut off the top, and remove the seeds, and discard. Coarsely chop the pepper.
- Place one pizza disk on a piece of parchment paper placed on an upside-down baking sheet. If the dough is sticky, sprinkle a little flour on top and on your hands. If you can only bake one pizza at a time, work on one while keeping the other covered with plastic.
- Stretch the dough with your fingers all around while turning it, until you have a 9" diameter pizza round. Alternatively, roll it out to 9" in diameter.
- Spread half of the tomato sauce across the top of a pizza round, leaving a 1" border.
- Toss the diced chicken in the BBQ sauce. Use enough BBQ sauce that the chicken pieces are well covered. Add a little more if you want, and sprinkle half of the chicken over the tomato sauce. (If you want to make a vegetarian pizza, mix the tablespoon of BBQ sauce into the tomato sauce, omit the chicken and continue with the recipe.)
- Sprinkle half of the coarsely chopped roasted pepper over the chicken, along with half of the cheese.
- Slide the parchment paper from the underside of the baking sheet onto the pizza stone. Bake for 8 minutes at sea level; and for 13 minutes at 7000 feet above sea level. The crust should be lightly browned, and the toppings bubbly. Top with half of the pepitas.
- Repeat with the second pizza round.
- Serve warm.