This pizza reminded me of two moments: first, the blind double date that was set up for my best friend and me while we were in college. We had BBQ chicken pizza that night. And we never went on a date with those boys again. The other thing I thought of was the first time I ate at California Pizza Kitchen. I was in D.C., getting ready to leave for a study abroad program in China. No one in the program knew each other, but we were desperate to get to know each other and desperate for one last American meal. These two memories, completely disconnected, bring me to this pizza. Food Network Magazine always has a "Copy That!" recipe, and the last one I tried (Freckled Lemonade) was super delicious. This was also delicious, and I realized that the gouda is what I've been missing on all of my previous BBQ chicken pizzas.
CPK's BBQ Chicken Pizza
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound prepared pizza dough
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp dark barbecue sauce
1 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast
salt and freshly ground pepper
3 oz gouda cheese, shredded
3 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Brush large bowl with olive oil. Shape the pizza dough into a ball, add it to the bowl and turn to coat with the oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place, 30-40 minutes.
Transfer the ball of dough to parchment paper brushed with olive oil and roll it out into a 10-inch round, stretching it with your hands as needed. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil, cover with another piece of parchment and set aside to rise slightly, about 30 minutes.
Heat the oven to 425 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Mix 2 Tbsp barbecue sauce and 1 tsp olive oil in a small bowl. Put the chicken in a greased baking dish, season with salt and pepper and brush with the barbecue sauce mixture. Bake on the middle oven rack until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
Spread the dough with the remaining 1/3 cup barbecue sauce, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Top with the chicken, gouda, mozzarella and red onion. Slide the pizza (on the parchment) onto a pizza pan or stone; bake until the cheese melts and the crust is golden, 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired.
source: recipe from Food Network Magazine, April 2012