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a blessing and a curse

Recipe: barbecue chicken pizza

If you haven’t entered to win a Colorado care package yet, you have until the end of the day (midnight) this Friday, September 28, 2012. GO ENTER!!


Autumn in Colorado is psycho. I mean this in a good way. You get those sunny days that are still warm (nay, hot) and dry. They can be sporadically intermingled with storm tracks that rain down and turn everything underfoot to mud, but leave a powdered sugar dusting of snow on the high peaks. If you are lucky, you might manage a photograph of the leaves turning colors and the mountains brushed in broad strokes of white. That is magic combo meal #1. Toss in a dramatic sunset and you have magic combo meal #2. Aw heck, and if you can combine all of that with FURRY BABY ANIMALS then you’ve pretty much got the holy grail right there. I’m only half kidding.

It’s not uncommon for me to encounter autumn storms while on the fall shoot. We like to think of them as early winter storms – sometimes snowing as much as two feet on the last day of summer! This year there has been a lot of rain and fog and clouds. That can be a bummer when the fog is so thick you can’t see anything or it’s pissing rain so hard that you don’t dare take your camera gear out of your pack. I usually rejoice at the rain and the snow. Bluebird skies and sunny days make for fine photographs, but the onset or clearing of a storm adds a different dimension to a capture.

you can’t have rainbows without rain (mt. crested butte at sunset)

I’ve been all up in my head this week because I’m driving around the mountains alone, assessing the weather every two minutes, and constantly scoping out the trees and the mountains. I was excited when I read rain in the forecast, because it meant snow up high. I got less excited when that soaking rain extended for several days. I started to wonder if it would ever let up.

this kinda sucked (iphone)

Frustrating as the rain can be, it pays to be vigilant and ever hopeful. Otherwise you could miss things if you decided to duck into a café and fritter away the time.

like a hot air balloon

or a cute gate to a ranch

or lovely sunset #1

and lovely sunset #2

So I’m glad I stuck it out, ignoring all the reasons telling me to just pack it up and go home where Jeremy and Kaweah are, where I have a nice comfy bed, where I get regular exercise, and where I eat proper food and have access to my kitchen. As you can imagine, posting a recipe just makes me want to get back to real cooking!

leftover barbecue chicken?

I know it’s hard to imagine having leftover barbecue anything, but it can happen if you make double or triple batches! We generally plow through this barbecue chicken recipe, but I set a few aside to make some pizza the other day.

roughly chopped

pizza time! pizza dough, barbecue chicken, mozzarella, barbecue sauce, red onions, fresh cilantro

The first time I had a barbecue chicken pizza was probably at California Pizza Kitchen in the late 80s in southern California. Talk about back in the day… Now, we tend to make our own pizza at home because they are easy and really quite good. Pizza is flexible like a sandwich – put whatever you fancy on the pizza and omit whatever you dislike. I tried to keep it simple with barbecue sauce, barbecue chicken, mozzarella, red onions, and cilantro. Tempting as it may be to load your pizza full of goodies, a little restraint will result in a better pizza. For reals.

spread barbecue sauce on the dough

cheese, chicken…

ready to go (i recommend adding the cilantro after the pizza is done cooking)

The first time I made the pizza I put the cilantro on before cooking, but the flavor pretty much gets cooked out of the cilantro. If you like cilantro then do yourself a favor and add it after the pizza has cooked. If you hate cilantro, I imagine it won’t make it anywhere near your pizza.

i like when the cheese just starts to brown

barbecue pizza goes great with a side of okra pickles

Pizza with a twist of spicy, sweet, smoky barbecue had me longing for some crunchy, tart pickles. They just go hand in hand – barbecue pizza and okra pickles. So if you ever find yourself with some leftover barbecue (is there such a thing?) then this pizza is worth making.

the convergence of two favorites: barbecue and pizza

Barbecue Chicken Pizza
[print recipe]

2 balls of pizza dough (my favorite pizza dough)
salt and pepper
1/2 cup barbecue sauce (I use the mutha sauce from the barbecue chicken recipe)
2 cups barbecue chicken, chopped
8 oz. mozzarella cheese, large dice
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

Shape the pizza dough: Preheat a pizza stone in the bottom third of your oven to 550°F or heat your pizza stone on your grill to 550°F (or however hot it gets). Sprinkle your pizza peel with cornmeal or flour (to prevent sticking). Flatten the pizza dough on a floured work surface or onto the peel and roll it out to 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer the dough to your peel if it isn’t on there already and roll or shape it to a 12-inch diameter. Add more flour as you work to keep the dough from sticking to the peel. If you are comfortable tossing the dough, then do so.

Assemble the pizza: Sprinkle salt and pepper over the disk of dough. Spread enough barbecue sauce on the pizza dough (about 3-4 tablespoons) to cover it, but don’t drown it (it will get soggy). Distribute pieces of torn mozzarella over the sauce (about 4 ounces), then distribute a cup (or less) of the chopped barbecue chicken over the pizza. Sprinkle a handful of red onion slivers on top. Transfer the pizza from the peel to the stone and bake for 8-10 minutes or until the pizza is done to your liking. Remove the pizza from the oven or grill and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve. Repeat for the second pizza. Makes two 12-inch pizzas.

11 nibbles at “a blessing and a curse”

  1. irenalana says:

    Beautiful pictures!

  2. Debbie says:

    I love the picture with the rainbow. Just so gorgeous…..

  3. Zach says:

    Fantastic photos! And, the pizza looks and sounds delicious! I am kond of a pizza nut (have two stones and two peels) and am always trying to come up with something new and different! Thanks for the recipe!

  4. farmerpam says:


  5. Norma Raye says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    Last year my close friend moved from Austin, TX to Longmont, CO. She turned me on to your blog, and I have enjoyed every aspect of your pictures, your dog, and your recipes. I have tried many of your recipes with great success. Thank you.


  6. Margie says:

    Your pizza is off the charts! I love, love, LOVE me a homemade pizza and this one sounds so amazing with the cilantro, chicken and bbq sauce.

  7. Kathy Swanson says:

    What’s a “peel” Jen? I can’t ever figure out how to get a soft wiggly, loaded piece of pizza dough onto a hot stone without mangling the pizza and burning myself. HELP!!

  8. Kathy Swanson says:

    We have a hot air balloon festival here every August and see them frequently coming over our house. The pic of the balloon with the snow dusted mountains in the background is really something. Our corn fields can’t compete with that!

  9. Kiersten Falls says:

    @Kathy, A peel is the flat wooden paddle that pizza makers use to slide the pie into their oven. You could use a large cutting board with corn meal on it or some other flat, sturdy, movable surface. Just don’t forget the flour (or corn meal) or you will not move that pie an inch!
    I think I am in your region. We have a hot air balloon fest in August when they do the Football HoF.

  10. jenyu says:

    irenalana – thank you!

    Debbie – yeah, that was pretty special :)

    Zach – you’re so welcome xo

    farmerpam – thanks!

    Norma Raye – Oh, you are such a sweetheart. Thank you!

    Margie – :)

    Kathy – As Kiersten said, a peel is a thin, flat, large wooden paddle for transferring a pizza to and from the pizza stone. You’ve probably seen many in pizzerias. The important thing is to put flour or cornmeal on the peel before placing the pizza dough on it or else it will stick like mad and ruin your pizza. I have detailed instructions on how to use the peel in this recipe:

  11. Barbecue Chicken Pizza | Recipe Hub says:

    […] For full recipe visit source site here. […]

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