Clean Out The Fridge Night: Barbeque Chicken Pizza

Have I told you guys about Winesday? It started when I went up to Boston last month and left Mark to his own devices. That Wednesday, he decided to stop by Whole Foods on his way home from work and pick up a steak for dinner. Instead, he happened upon Whole Foods' weekly wine and food pairing night. For $5, you get a glass (bring your glass back and the tasting is only $4!), access to the five stations staggered throughout the store, and a booklet of the recipes for everything you're tasting. Each station has a food sample and gives you 2 oz. of wine that they think pairs well with it. Pretty great, right? Well even better is the fact that Mark was picked up by the funniest group of ladies who invited him to join their tasting group. We have been meeting them for the last month or so, gathering at 5:15 and chatting and sampling our way through the store. They are easily our parents' age and older, but a pretty sassy bunch.

Anyway, at Winesday last week, one of the food samples was grilled chicken in a blackberry bbq sauce, and it was awesome. I made it for dinner one night last week with just some salad and we both kept saying how good it was. BONUS: it is also stupidly easy. I seasoned some boneless, skinless chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, then Mark threw them on the grill while I whipped up the sauce, then we tossed the grilled chicken in the sauce. That's it! The recipe made quite a bit more sauce than we needed, so I stuck the rest in a jar and popped it in the fridge.

Last night, I was so stuck on what to make for dinner. I did not want to go to the store, but nothing we had in really appealed to me, at least not anything that would defrost quickly. Then, while screwing around online, I saw this post on Food Lush talking about homemade pizza. I was still thinking pizza wouldn't work because all of my dough was frozen, but then I decided to give Annie's dough a try. This was a total crapshoot for me, seeing as I am completely yeast impaired, but it actually worked well! Believe me, no one was more surprised than I.

Then it was time to figure out toppings. I didn't want to do just a plain tomato and mozzarella, but again, I did NOT want to go to the store. I hunted through the freezer and came up with two marinated chicken breasts remaining from the Great Meat Truck Debacle of 2011, and that was when the plan crystallized: BBQ CHICKEN, MMM.

I tossed the chicken in a bowl of warm water to defrost while I diced all of the remaining onion products in the house (half of a vidalia and a few large shallots). The onions and shallots went into a pan with some EVOO and butter to caramelize, and a little later, I threw in a little salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme. Yum. I also used the caramelizing time to grate some mozzarella.

Once the chicken defrosted, I tossed it on the grill to cook. When it was done and still hot, I diced it into little pieces appropriate for pizza bites, then poured in a generous amount of the leftover blackberry bbq sauce. I wanted to be pretty generous with the sauce, because this was the extent of the sauciness for the whole pizza.

Mark had a meeting with his boss last night, so he was pretty late getting home. This gave me a good lead time to preheat the oven and pizza stone as Annie directs (I have no idea if this made a crucial difference, but it all turned out pretty well). While I was waiting for Mark, I rolled out the dough and put down a layer of thinly sliced provolone cheese. Next up, I sprinkled the caramelized onions and saucy chicken pieces evenly across the pizza. Finally, I sprinkled on the mozzarella and we popped it into the oven.

Sure, it wasn't a traditional bbq chicken pizza, but this clean-out-the-fridge meal was pretty easy and really delicious!
Cheese, cheese, and dough. How bad could that be?
Caramelized onions, anyone? OH, YES. YES, PLEASE.

Mmmm, pizza.
Clean Out The Fridge BBQ Chicken Pizza

You'll need:
  • Dough (I used a 1/2 batch of dough from Annie's Eats)
  • Cheese (I used a layer of grated part-skim mozzarella and a layer of thinly sliced provolone)
  • Caramelized onions/shallots (see above)
  • Chicken (I grilled two small, marinated pieces of chicken breast, but the marinade was completely unnecessary; it was just what I had in)
  • BBQ Sauce (see below)
  1. Make the dough according to recipe instructions and let it rise for at least an hour and a half. Once dough has risen, separate into two portions. If only using one, wrap and freeze the other. Let the portion you're using sit on the counter to rest.
  2. Prep and cook the onions.
  3. Grill, dice, and sauce the chicken.
  4. Preheat the oven and pizza stone to 525 degrees.
  5. Roll out the dough to desired size and transfer to parchment paper. Roll some more, as the dough will shrink back during the transfer.
  6. Top dough with provolone, onions, chicken, and mozzarella and transfer the pizza to the hot oven. 
  7. Bake for 5-10 minutes, but keep an eye on it. It's done when it's all golden and bubbly. Enjoy!
BBQ Sauce
  • 1/2 c blackberry preserves
  • 1 c ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (I used smoked chipotle powder)
  • 1/4 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  1. Combine all of the ingredients and simmer. That's it!


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