Sunday, June 16, 2013

Pizza Party Pizza - Taco Chicken and Red Onion Pizza

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Pizzeria Pizza at Home...

A goal of mine (and an earlier blog post, double click the blue letters).  In that post I go into details about the best way to achieve the goal of a making a seemingly simple flat bread, topped with a sauce and cheese.  I have a never fail yeast pizza dough recipe, a deliciously fresh rich pizza sauce (from scratch) and a bit of history.

Once you learn the tricks of the trade, Pizzeria Pizza at home is simple and addictive.  My dough recipe makes 4 dough balls, so each time I make pizza I have 4 canvasses to create.  Generally I make a pizza Margherita (pictured to the right, sauce, cheese and basil).  The Margherita is recognized by many as the first and original version of the modern pizza.


How would you like to be ... THAT GUY (or Gal) That can (and regularly does) do amazing things on a grill...

A Couple of weeks ago I went into detail on GRILLING a pizza on a standard backyard grill.  Easy, Fun, Spectacular.

This week I made a very colorful delicious pizza from a Rotisserie Chicken that I seasoned with Taco spices and some SNAPPY pickled Red Onions.

I used my homemade scratch pizza dough recipe but you can just as easily use a store bought pizza dough ball or even one of those pre-baked crusts.  I also used my home made scratch pizza herb tomato sauce, but again, store bought will work if you prefer.  If this is your first 'scratch" pizza, please take a second and read over my Pizzeria Pizza at Home 101 - Crust Sauce and Techniques post that gives you plenty of recipes, tips and hints that guarantee pizzeria quality at home (for a fraction of the cost and a multiplying factor of flavors and choices).

The rest is all technique.  Read over the post on Pizzeria Pizza at Home, then try this...

Start with a Ball of Dough.  It's the same recipe I almost always use.  Cold rise, easy and never fail (does take about 4 hours of sitting around (or overnight) to make the dough, so plan ahead).  Or any store bought pizza dough would work as well.

Next is the only real trick... HOT!  Get your grill HOT.  If using coals, preheat the grill for at least 20-30 minutes or set your gas grill, all burners running on high for at least 10 minutes.

OK, The photo directly above is the dough after I formed a sort of circle.  Tossing in the air is not really how it's done, flattening between your two palms and then stretching along the edges all the way around, allowing gravity to pull down.  Once you get it evenly thin, slap it on the HOT grate.

It only takes about 3-4 minutes for the dough to start to bubble.  use a wide turner or tongs and test the doneness.

The bottom will be starting to crisp up...

And get grill marks.

Since it has started to crisp, the soft dough has started to cook and turn solid.  Easy to turn.  Since the grill grate was hot, it never sticks.

Time for toppings...

Any leftover chicken will work.  Me, I love those store bought gems, the Rotisserie Store Bought Chicken!  After all, they come pre-seasoned, PERFECTLY cooked, tender and moist and just delicious!  For this pizza all I did was remove a breast, dice the meat.  Then I took a small sautee pan, melt a couple of TBS of butter, add 2 TBS of Taco Seasonings, add the chicken and sauteed for about 5 minutes.  Long enough for the meat to be coated, warmed and the melted butter adding moisture, flavor and helping the seasoning to seep into the meat.

And a few Pickled Red Onions to add color and those unique flavors.

And that's it!

But as with most recipes, the basics can be learned in minutes; mastering the art will take a lifetime (or at least 52 tries).  You can achieve success with my Pizzeria 101 Link, a cookie sheet, standard oven and items in most every kitchen.  But... eventually you will want to try the toys of the trade  So if you want to dig deeper, I recommend these books and items...

Enjoy your Pizza making... Let me know what pizzas you are making and be sure to come take a look next Sunday to see what I come up with this week!

I hope I did not make it sound complicated... it really only takes a few minutes if you are an experienced home pizza maker.  The pay off in beauty and taste is well worth the effort.  Plus, if you get in the habit of making pizza dough 4 balls at a time (as my recipe does), and you always have a jar of sauce laying around (since I make 8 jars at a time, this beauty is actually very affordable).  Your big cost is the toppings, but since mostly I use leftovers, pizza is about as affordable as it gets... As long as you are not buying a $20 pizza at the pizzeria when you CAN make em at home!

And of course... This is a MUST MAKE recipe for my new Page that eventually will be a guide to Italian Cooking (worth following). I will try to research the history, Italian name for the dish and most of all the authenticity (going to be hard not to monkey about with the recipes, but I at least promise to try).

So, Cin Cin indeed as I add Breakfast Pizza Uova e Pancetta Pizza) to my "52 Authentic Italian Recipes".

And if you like this dish and want to see more, be sure to take a minute and "Follow" me on Pinterest for all of the updates to come!!!

This is Pizza #9 in my list of 52 Pizza Party Pizzas...

Week #1 ...

A simple Salami Pizza (break free of the addiction to Pepperoni).  A classic example of the Italian belief that less is more... Allow a quality ingredient like the artisanal Dry cured sausage, the sauce and the cheese balance beautifully!
This Sausage pizza is Pizza #2 in my list of 52 Pizza Party Pizzas...

I made a fantastic HOT Sausage Pizza... Made with mini balls of sausage (there is a small trick) that also looks as dramatic as it is tasty!

Week #3

I was on the grill making a dessert or Appetizer FANTASTIC Honey - Goat Cheese - Arugula Pizza... Delicious and PERFECT if you want to WOW your friends with something unique on the GRILL!

Week #4

A Pizza from my youth, the (then) exotic sounding Canadian Bacon and Onion GRILLED pizza!  Loaded with color and the unique taste of the sweet juicy back bacon that became a legend back in Pekin, Illinois in the 70's.

Week #5

A fond memory of our time living in the islands... US Virgin Island, St Thomas had a fantastic little beach bar where you could get a Steak and Gorgonzola Pizza (and a bottle of wine) for just $25... one of the few bargains on the island and a darn fine PIZZA!

Week #6

We stayed out on the grill for a fun APPETIZER PIZZA of Goat Cheese, Honey and Walnuts!  Worked perfect to serve as guests arrive, the sweet honey, zippy goat cheese and the savory walnuts paired perfect for a fine welcome treat!

Week #7

HOW COOL IS THIS BREAKFAST PIZZA???  Ham and Eggs... Cheese and tomato sauce!  It is actually a classic Italian recipe for
Bacon and Egg Pizza (Uova e pancetta Pizza)And it is WONDERFUL!

Week #8

Was something really secial for me, a chance to cook with another respected Food Blogger, Penny from Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen, AND to use her open fireplace cooking grate to cook over a live fire and make a pizza topped with Ina Garten's Guacamole Salad!  Fruit, Vegges, Black Beans... Makes a FANTASTIC Pizza!

OK, be sure to come back next Sunday... I already have plans for next weeks' Za!

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