I've been on a major pizza kick lately. The kind of obsessed where I can find just about any excuse for a pizza night. The Bruins are on? Can't have hockey night without pizza. Friday or Saturday? Weekends practically require pizza. A rainy, chilly week late in May? Totally calls for comfort food. We've been making so much pizza that at this point we're a well-oiled machine with an efficient system in place for making the dough, topping the pizzas and getting them in and out of the oven. If I've thought ahead, made the dough in advance and stashed it in the freezer, homemade pizza is a really easy weeknight meal, and way cheaper than ordering it from a local shop. As long as we have mozzarella on hand (which is the case about 90% of the time), we'll use that along with whatever other toppings we can rustle up from our fridge and pantry.
A few days ago I grilled several chicken breasts with the intention of using a portion to top my salad for lunch that day and saving the rest for lunches later in the week. I had one salad but then I fell in love with the idea of using the leftovers to make buffalo chicken pizza instead. I searched and searched until I found a recipe that was exactly what I pictured in my mind - a base of tangy ranch-like sauce topped with shredded chicken (coated with hot sauce), cheese and sweet red onions. With each component I made, I got more excited about this pizza, and when it finally emerged from the oven, I gave serious thought to skipping the photos and just digging in. I'm really glad I did take a few shots though so I could share it; I even bumped it ahead of a few other posts I had planned so I could tell you about it before the weekend. This is probably among my favorite pizzas I've ever made - everything just works together to create a really flavorful and not overly spicy result.
I barely adapted this recipe from the awesome Bridget over at The Way the Cookie Crumbles. Mainly, I omitted the blue cheese, which we aren't big fans of, and compensated with extra mozzarella. I made the buffalo and white sauces in advance and refrigerated them, leaving only the assembly for the last minute. Also, I doubled this recipe & made two 12-inch pizzas.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
barely adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles
1 lb pizza dough, stretched to a 12-inch round (I haven't blogged a recent favorite, but this one is in heavy rotation too)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce
1/2 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon plain yogurt (I used nonfat Greek yogurt)
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
pinch of sugar
pinch of garlic powder
1 large (or 2 small) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup red onion, diced
At least 30 minutes before you plan to bake the pizza, preheat oven to 500 F. Set a pizza stone on the bottom rack of your oven.
To make the buffalo sauce, add the butter to a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat. Cook until melted, then mix in the hot sauce, brown sugar and cider vinegar. Add the shredded chicken and toss to coat with the sauce.
To make the white sauce, mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, sugar, garlic powder and a pinch each of salt and pepper in a small bowl to combine. Set aside.
Transfer the dough to a well-floured pizza peel, if you have one. (We don't, so I always use parchment paper.) Spread the white sauce in a thin, even layer over the dough, leaving a small border around the edge. Top with the chicken, then the mozzarella and finally the red onion. Bake on the preheated pizza stone (or the back of a baking sheet if you don't have one) for about 10-12 minutes, or until the crust is browned and the cheese is bubbling and browned. Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.