Spicy BBQ Chicken Pizza

When I was a kid, the first time i learned that BBQ chicken pizza was a thing, I was at a well-known chain that we’ll not name here. And for a young kid, it was a great experience. Flash forward to today, and I don’t think you could get me to go back to that establishment. But BBQ chicken pizza still appeals to me, so when I gave my girlfriend a list of pizza options for her to pick from, I was pretty happy this made the cut.

The key here is the BBQ sauce. If you have good BBQ sauce, you’ll have good BBQ pizza. We’re making some sauce that’s tangy, sweet, and spicy, just the way it should be. So next time you’re craving BBQ chicken pizza from a certain establishment, make this instead, and then be veeeery impressed with yourself.

I am a BBQ pizza. Come closer...
I am a BBQ pizza. Come closer…

BBQ Sauce

1 T smoked paprika

1 T kosher or sea salt

1 T molasses

1 T chili powder

1 T ground cumin

1 t crushed red pepper

1 t cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

2 cups ketchup

1 cup whole-grain mustard

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/4 cup bourbon

The Rest

Pizza dough (see earlier post)

1/2 lb chicken thighs

6 oz light beer

6 sprigs thyme

salt & pepper

-1.5 lbs fresh mozzarella, sliced (please don’t buy one of those part-skim blocks of garbage that masquerade as mozzarella)

1/4 c diced scallion

1/4 c sliced red onion

1/4 c diced red bell pepper

1/4 cup chopped cliantro


– Put all your sauce ingredients in a pot on med-low heat, and whisk together. Let it cook at low heat for about 25 minutes, then turn off.

– While that’s going, season your chicken thighs with salt and pepper, and put them in a skillet on medium high heat with a little bit of oil or butter.

– Brown both sides, the turn to medium-low and add the beer.

– Cover, and let simmer until the beer is gone.

– Remove the thighs, let them cool until you can touch them, and remove all the bones, skin, and extra fat.

– Tear or cut the chicken into pizza-topping sized pieces.

– Toss the chicken in a tablespoon or two of bbq sauce; you want the chicken to be fully coated, but not dripping in sauce.

– Smear some sauce onto your rolled out pizza dough (again, see earlier post for pizza dough recipe) with a spatula or the back of a wooden spoon.

– Put a layer of cheese on, then toss on the rest of your toppings, with the cliantro last.

– Bake for 10-15 minutes at 450-500 F on  your pre-heated pizza stone, or until the crust is brown and the cheese is melted.

Agh, too close!
Agh, too close!

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