Friday, January 9, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza

David brought home a few bottles of BBQ sauce a client gave him a couple weeks ago. There's an "original," "heavy garlic," and "jalapeno garlic." We have some baby back ribs in the freezer that I so want to make...sigh. But it's too many calories, and how can you eat BBQ ribs without some potato salad, baked beans with bacon, and white sandwich bread right? Unfortunately, that would stick in all the wrong places. :-(

Since my hubby is trying to lose some weight, I am making only healthy meals for the time being. So... I fiddled with a recipe for BBQ Chicken Pizza to make it as healthy as possible. There is only one change I wanted to make, but didn't really have the time--making some whole wheat pizza dough from scratch. Now that the holidays are over, we've all hit the ground running, and I am going from one thing to the next with barely enough time to pause and take a breath! So if you can, make the pizza crust yourself with some whole wheat flour, it will add some fiber, and make the pizza even better for you.

The original recipe called for salsa on the crust (instead of tomato sauce), because there are virtually no calories in salsa, but I didn't want to make a Mexican style pizza. So I am using just the bare minimum of BBQ sauce. The onions are cooked very slowly for a long time--this caramelizes them and adds great flavor to the pizza. Chicken tenderloins have even less fat that chicken breasts (they were leftover from making the Chicken Lettuce Wraps), and this was the perfect way to use them up.

Let's make pizza--and don't worry, this recipe does NOT require you to throw the dough in the air, only to see it land in your hair, on the cat, or on floor.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

12 ounces chicken breast tenderloins, patted dry
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon spicy/regular seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 jar roasted red peppers (you'll only need 1-2 peppers)
3 tablespoons BBQ sauce of choice
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup green onions/scallions, thinly sliced

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with the seasoned salt, pepper, and paprika.

When the pan is hot, add the chicken, and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Turn the tenderloins over and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.

To the same skillet, add the red onion, and turn the heat down to low. Continue to cook the onions, stirring frequently until the are a nice golden brown color. They may start to look shriveled and dry, so watch them carefully--you want nice caramelized onions, not burnt onion rings. This will take anywhere from 15-20 minutes, so don't leave them. Once they're done, remove from the heat and set aside.

While the onions are cooking, slice up your red peppers and scallions.

Now we're ready to put the pizza together. On a large rimmed non-stick baking sheet, sprinkle 2 generous tablespoons of cornmeal (use more if necessary to cover your sheet).

I don't like to use cooking spray to keep the pizza dough from makes the crust wet and greasy. If you use cornmeal, it keeps the dough from sticking and gives the crust a nice little crunch.
Open up the can of pizza dough, unroll it a few inches, and lay it down on the baking sheet, close to one end.

Unroll the rest of the dough slowly and gently--this keeps the cornmeal in place.

Stretch it out with your hands until it fits the pan. As the dough warms up, it will become easier to pat be patient and just work with it. If it doesn't go quite to the edges of the pan, don't worry about it. If you think it might be sticking while your patting it out, sprinkle some more cornmeal under the dough. This is one time you don't want to skimp on the cornmeal.

Spread the prepared dough with the BBQ sauce. We're using just a little--BBQ sauce has a lot of sugar in it. Sugar=calories. Darn...I love BBQ sauce; David could probably live off of it.

Anyway, slice the chicken into 1/4 inch pieces, add to the pizza along with the roasted red peppers.

Then scatter on the red onions...

and finally the cheese. Just 1/2 cup. I know...I want more too. Maybe next time.

Now pop this pretty baby into the oven at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden brown.

Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the green onion, and serve immediately.

I'll be honest, this was GOOD! David and I meant have only 2 slices each, but we had 3. Shh...don't tell anyone. We had a big bowls of salad too...see...we were good!

The kids scarfed down their cheese pizza. I made one the same size as ours, and there was only 1 slice left. When they get older, I'm gonna go broke feeding these guys.

Next time you're craving pizza, don't call for delivery, give this recipe a try!

God bless your table tonight!

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