BBQ Chicken Pizza
The word pizza is believed to be from an Old Italian word meaning “a point,” which in turn became the Italian word “pizzicare,” which means “to pinch” or “pluck.” Pizza has been a basic part of the Italian diet for a long time. Most people associate pizza with Italie. It is also said that the idea of using bread as a plate cam from the Greeks.
Umberto I (1844-1900), King of Italy, and his wife, Queen Margherita di Savoia (1851-1926), in Naples on holiday, called to their palace the most popular of the pizzaioli (pizza chef), Raffaele Esposito, to taste his specialties. He prepared three kinds of pizzas: one with pork fat, cheese, and basil; one with garlic, oil, and tomatoes; and another with mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes (in the colors of the Italian flag). The Queen liked the last kind of pizza so much that she sent to the pizzzaiolo a letter to thank him saying, “I assure you that the three kinds of pizza you have prepared were very delicious.” Raffaele Esposito dedicated his specialty to the Queen and called it “Pizza Margherita.” This pizza set the standard by which today’s pizza evolved as well as firmly established Naples as the pizza capitol of the world.
In the late 19th century, pizza was sold in the streets in Naples at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It was cut from a large tray that had been cooked in the baker’s oven and had a simple topping of mushrooms and anchovies. As pizza became more popular, stalls were set up where the dough was shaped as customers ordered. Various toppings were invented. The stalls soon developed into the pizzeria, an open-air place for people to congregate, eat, drink, and talk.
Pizza migrated to America with the Italians in the latter half of the 19th century. Pizza was introduced to Chicago by a peddler who walked up and down Taylor Street with a metal washtub of pizzas on his head, crying his wares at two cents a chew. This was the traditional way pizza used to be sold in Naples, in copper cylindrical drums with false bottoms that were packed with charcoal from the oven to keep the pizzas hot. The name of the pizzeria was embossed on the drum. For many people, especially among the Italian-American population, the first American pizzas were known as Tomato Pie. Even in the present 21st century, present-day tomato pie is most commonly found in the Northeastern United States, especially in Italian bakeries in central New York. Tomato pies are built the opposite of pizza pies – first the cheese, then the toppings, and then the sauce. In case you would like to read more about the history of Pizza I Found this story on whats cooking America.
- 1 1/3 cup water
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. cornmeal
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 3 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
- 1/8 cup red onion sliced
- 1 cup Mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp Cilantro
- Before you start turn the oven on to 350F. When you are finished making the dough this is where I put the dough on top of the stove to rise.
- Place water, sugar, yeast in bowl and let it sit for 5 min till frothy. Add olive oil to the yeast mix.
- Then add the bread flour and salt. Knead with dough hook to form a soft, but not-too sticky dough (about 10 minutes).
- Put a little olive oil in the bowl. Add the pizza dough and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Put the bowl on the preheated oven so the dough can rise
- In the mean time prepare the boneless skinless chicken thigh. Put 1 tbsp olive oil in a hot skillet brown the chicken on both sides for about 5 min each or until cooked through. Remove chicken to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes. Cut into bite size pieces.
- Remove from machine and allow to rest, in a bowl with olive oil on the bottom so it won’t stick. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel for about 45 minutes. Set the oven now to 425F. 1 Check if the dough has risen. If it has, take it out and split it in 4 balls. Put them on a greased baking sheet and cover again, and let it rise again for another 15 min. Then take one of the balls and flatten on a floured surface
- Roll the dough out to the size you would like the pizza to be. Spread BBQ sauce of your choice over the crust. Top with onions and cheese. Evenly top with pieces of chicken. Bake on middle rack for 12-15 min, until cheese is bubbly and crust is browned. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.
*Arrisje’s Recipe Card. Click on the pic below, then save to your hard drive and print as a 4×6 pic*