Saturday, July 16, 2011

Grilled BBQ Pizza

As if good old oven baked pizza is not delicious enough, there is also grilled pizza.

Stepping into the pizza arena with flames blazing, the ingenious grilled pie makes its mark, “one upping” the classic slice with its smoky essence and char striped crust.

The best part about grilled pizza is that it can easily be made at home, cheap and for no trouble at all. Conveniently at the helm of your backyard grates, you can produce a pie with flavor and crunch reminiscent to those made in wood-burning brick ovens.

Like a culinary canvas for creativity, pizzas are a fun addition to the grilled fare of summer. Play around with different toppings to make personal pies, share a pie with friends as an appetizer, or cut larger slices for a meal. As two things that are often enjoyed communally, hanging out around the grill and eating pizza go hand in hand.

When making grilled pizza, you can start from scratch or purchase the dough; I found mine at Trader Joe’s. Seeing that floppy ball of dough resting somewhere near the cheese is what originally set the light bulb off to make my grilled maple barbecue chicken pizza with cheddar.

Once you stretch and shape the pizza dough, it goes directly over a medium high grill and cooks for about four minutes on each side until it is crisp and cooked through. After you flip the crust, assembly begins on the cooked side while the bottom half gets its turn over the flames.

Sweet homemade maple barbeque sauce made with quality syrup and whole grain mustard gives this pizza great flavor. A small part of it is tossed with the tender shredded chicken topping while the rest is ladled onto the crust as the first layer and base of the pizza. Sharp yellow cheddar is then sprinkled on top and slowly melts as the shredded chicken and scallions are added.

A pizza, topped with barbecue sauce, prepared on the grill--I’d say it’s just about the most perfect convergence of Italia and Americana there is.

Grilled Maple Barbecue Chicken Pizza with Cheddar:
Yield: 1 pie
For Maple Barbecue Sauce (Yield: 1 cup):
- 1/8 cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 2 heaping teaspoons of whole grain mustard
- ½ cup ketchup
- 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 heaping tablespoons light brown sugar
- A dash of hot sauce
- ½ cup water
- Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
- 2 whole chicken breasts or thighs with skin removed
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1-2 cups salted water
- 1 pound, homemade or purchased ball of pizza dough
- 2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar
- ½ bunch scallions, thinly sliced
• For barbecue sauce: in a medium pot, whisk all ingredients together. Simmer for 15 minutes or until thick, stirring occasionally.
• In another medium pot, cover chicken breasts with 1 cup chicken stock and 1-2 cups salted water (or however much is needed to cover). Bring liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer; simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and tender. Remove chicken from the cooking liquid and using two forks, pull in opposite directions to finely shred. Mix shredded chicken with about ¼ cup of barbecue sauce—you want to use enough sauce to coat the meat while still making sure you have plenty for the crust.
• Heat the grill to medium high and clean well. Pound out and stretch pizza dough to form a fairly thin crust—it does not have to be a circle. Lay the crust on the grill grates and keep a watchful eye. The dough will have a nice char, but you will need to spin it once or twice as not to burn it. When one side looks crispy and well-browned, flip the dough over. Each side takes about 4 minutes.
• On the cooked side of the dough, pour on barbeque sauce and spread out evenly. Sprinkle with a layer of cheddar cheese. Continue to keep an eye on the crust, giving it a slight spin if needed to keep from burning. Top the cheese with the saucy chicken and finish with a sprinkle of sliced scallions. *Towards the end, you may want to lower the grill and let the pizza sit for a few minutes to make sure that the dough is cooked all the way through on the inside and to get the cheese nicely melted.


Island Vittles said...

that looks and sounds amazing! and heavy on the chicken...just the way I like it! Theresa

Mother Rimmy said...

I have got to try to grill a pizza. Every time I see someone make one, I'm intrigued. I love bbq chicken pizzas. This looks like a terrific recipe to give it a try. Happy Sunday!

Koci said...

Grilled pizza sounds so cool! Plus I didn't know that it cooks so quickly! This is definitely an idea that I want to give a try.

Victoria said...

I concur. This really is the best marriage between American BBQ and Italian pizza awesomeness. I love your selection of toppings. I'm a big fan of BBQ chicken pizza, and actually making that pizza on the grill just makes it even better!

Karen said...

Love the fact that you're using the pre-made dough here. Haven't tried it yet but always see it. This really makes me want to now...the flavors here are just fantastic. The maple bbq sauce and the cheddar sound so good together!

Amy said...

I love the combination of flavors going on here with this pizza! BBQ sauce sounds amazing along with the cheese and crunchy crust!

Kim - Liv Life said...

Now that is a pizza my husband could sink his teeth into! He is always telling me that I'm too skimpy with the ingredients, this one does the trick. Nicely done!! Love the flavors you have going on.

Adelina said...

oooh bbq chicken pizza... I am hungry now.

Lazaro Cooks said...

I love grilled pizza, such a culinary treat. Your's is a work of art. All my favorites at play. Cheddar, BBQ, and chicken...nice!


Rosemary said...

I've yet to try grilled pizza -- Mr. Rosemary likes it the traditional way. But I'm going to try it, I promise!

Veronica Gantley said...

I love grilled pizza and yours looks amazing. Thanks for sharing.

AllontheGrill said...

That looks amazing! Lots of great flavors in there, and much respect to you for grilling it!