This is the first time I am posting with Group B for the Secret Recipe Club.
I had to change my SRC group from A to B since Group A’s posting day clashes with the Recipe Swap’s posting day, ever since the Recipe Swap started posting the first Monday of the month. I loved Group A and the bloggers I had got to know, but I am sure Group B will be as much fun. Atleast, the first month has been.
For my first Group B assignment I got Ashley’s Kitchen Meets Girl.
When I read this in her “about me” section I could so relate to her:
Interestingly enough, I didn’t grow up with an interest in cooking […] I don’t know how or when, but somewhere along the line, that changed. Look at me—I’m writing a food blog. Craziness.
Since I was traveling for the last two weeks and also because the mail with my assignment probably went to my spam folder, I only got to know my Group B assignment a week before the reveal date. But one look at Ashley’s blog and I knew I wouldn’t pass up this opportunity of cooking through her recipes.
I bookmarked quite a few of her recipes but finally chose her buffalo chicken pizza to try.
Someone who reads this space regularly would probably know our little town hardly has any options of eating out. There is a motel which serves american and mexican food. There is another restaurant where we hardly go to because it doesn’t have any vegetarian options. There is the chinese place from where I have eaten twice and have got food poisoning both times. There is the bowling alley that serves food, but besides their grilled chicken sandwich I am not a fan of the food (and believe me I am not a picky eater when it’s someone else who has cooked the food). There is a new place that has opened and though the food is good, the service is horrible- with mixed up orders, a long wait and servers not aware of their whole menu.
And well, don’t get me started on the Pizza. It’s not bad and generally the only option we have when we (actually I) don’t feel like cooking, but it’s not the best either. There is no thin crust! Just the the thick crust variety of pizza, which I am not a fan of.
So when I saw Ashley’s buffalo chicken pizza recipe it was a great push for me to take off my lazy pants and make my favorite Pizza dough recipe from Peter Reinhart’s The Bread Baker’s Apprentice. And the idea of having Buffalo chicken as the topping sounded divine!
Since I could not find Frank’s red hot in our grocery store, I replaced it with Sriracha sauce which is also made of sundried red chiles, with more or less the same ingredients as Frank’s red hot sauce. Also, I made my own dry buffalo rub using the recipes I found here and here.
I also tripled the recipe since the pizza dough recipe I have makes about 6 6-ounce pizzas, and since I knew from the sound of the recipe it would be great, I knew tripling the recipe would be a smart move. And of course, it was.
SPICY BUFFALO CHICKEN PIZZA
Recipe Type: main course, appetizer, pizza,
Author: The Bread Baker’s Apprenticeand
For the Pizza crust: (recipe from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice)
- 4 1/2 cups (20.25 ounces) unbleached high-gluten, bread, or all-purpose flour, chilled
- 1 3/4 (.44 ounce) teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon (.11 ounce) instant yeast
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) olive oil (optional)
- 1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) water, ice cold (40°F)
- Semolina flour OR cornmeal for dusting
For the topping:
- 3 boneless chicken breasts (I used boneless breast strips, total weighing 852gms)
- buffalo rub (recipe follows)
- 14 ounce jar pizza sauce (you can use homemade or tomato sauce)
- 5 tbsp butter
- 6-8 tbsp sriracha sauce (you can use Frank’s Red Hot, buffalo-style if that’s what you have)
- Ranch or blue cheese dressing to spread on pizza (for each pizza I used about 4 tbsp ranch dressing)
- Mozzarella cheese, you can put as much or as little as you want
- green onion, thinly sliced ( I used red onions, since the husband LOVES red onions)
For the buffalo rub: (the ingredient list is long but it takes only a minute to put together- you could also use store bought steak seasoning or like Ashley Pampered chef’s buffalo rub)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp roasted ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground mustard powder ( I used 1 tsp yellow mustard as I didn’t have ground mustard powder)
- 2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp sage
- 1/4 tsp parsley
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp fresh garlic clives, minced
- 1 tbsp habanero peppers, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp oil
- Stir together the flour, salt, and instant yeast (see note above in case using active dry yeast) in a 4-quart bowl (or in the bowl of an electric mixer). Stir in the oil and the cold water until the flour is all absorbed (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment, switching to the dough hook once ingredients are evenly distributed). Knead for 5 to 7 minutes, or as long as it takes to create a smooth, sticky dough. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl but stick to the bottom of the bowl. If the dough is too wet and doesn’t come off the sides of the bowl, sprinkle in some more flour just until it clears the sides. If it clears the bottom of the bowl, dribble in a tea- spoon or two of cold water. The finished dough will be springy, elastic, and sticky, not just tacky, and register 50 to 55F.
- Sprinkle flour on the counter and transfer the dough to the counter. Prepare a sheet pan by lining it with baking parchment and misting the parchment with spray oil (or lightly oil the parchment). Using a metal dough scraper, cut the dough into 6 equal pieces of about 6 ounce each (or larger if you are comfortable shaping large pizzas). You can dip the scraper into the water between cuts to keep the dough from sticking to it. Sprinkle flour over the dough. Make sure your hands are dry and then flour them. Lift each piece and gently round it into a ball. If the dough sticks to your hands, dip your hands into the flour again. Transfer the dough balls to the sheet pan. Mist the dough generously with spray oil and slip the pan into a food-grade plastic bag.
- Put the pan into the refrigerator overnight to rest the dough, or keep for up to 3 days. (Note: If you want to save some of the dough for future baking, you can store the dough balls in a zippered freezer bag. Dip each dough ball into a bowl that has a few tablespoons of oil in it, rolling the dough in the oil, and then put each ball into a separate bag. You can place the bags into the freezer for up to 3 months. Transfer them to the refrigerator the day before you plan to make pizza.)
- On the day you plan to make the pizza, remove the desired number of dough balls from the refrigerator 2 hours before making the pizza. Before letting the dough rest at room temperature for 2 hours, dust the counter with flour, and then mist the counter with spray oil. Place the dough balls on top of the floured counter and sprinkle them with flour; dust your hands with flour. Gently press the dough into flat disks about 1/2 inch thick and 5 inches in diameter. Sprinkle the dough with flour, mist it again with spray oil, and cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap or a food-grade plastic bag. Now let rest for 2 hours. Marinate the chicken while the dough is resting.
For the topping:
- In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the buffalo rub. Add in the chicken strips and coat all over. Let sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. You can do this when you take the pizza dough out of the refrigerator and let sit on the counter for 2 hours.
- Grill chicken over medium heat for 4 to 7 minutes, or until temperature reaches 170 degrees. I broiled the chicken for 4-6 minutes on each side. Allow to cool slightly and chop into cubes.
- Preheat oven to 550F or the maximum your oven can go. While the oven is preheating, make the sauce.
- In a small saucepan, combine tomato/pizza sauce, butter and Sriracha or Frank’s Red Hot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for approximately 15 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Add in 1 tsp each onion and garlic powder. Add chicken and heat through.
To make the Pizza:
- At least 45 minutes before making the pizza, place a baking stone either on the floor of the oven (for gas ovens), or on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as possible, up to 800F (most home ovens will go only to 500 to 550F, but some will go higher). If you do not have a baking stone, you can use the back of a sheet pan, but do not preheat the pan.
- Generously dust a peel or the back of a sheet pan with semolina flour or cornmeal. Make the pizzas one at a time. Dip your hands, including the backs of your hands and knuckles, and very gently lay the dough across your fists and carefully stretch it by bouncing the dough in a circular motion on your hands, carefully giving it a little stretch with each bounce. Or if you don’t feel confident enough to do that, just lay it down on the floured counter and stretch it outwards with your hands. If the dough keeps springing back, let it rest for 5 to 20 minutes so the gluten can relax, and try again. You can also resort to using a rolling pin, though this isn’t as effective as the toss method.
- When the dough is stretched out to your satisfaction (about 9 to 12 inches in diameter for a 6-ounce piece of dough), lay it on the peel or pan, making sure there is enough semolina flour or cornmeal to allow it to slide.
- Spread Ranch/blue cheese dressing over the shaped pizza crust and top with chicken mixture, cheese and onions, remembering that the best pizzas are topped with a less-is-more philosophy.
- Slide the topped pizza onto the stone (or bake directly on the sheet pan) and close the door. Wait 2 minutes, then take a peek. If it needs to be rotated 180 degrees for even baking, do so. The pizza should take about 5 to 8 minutes to bake (mine took about 8-10 minutes to bake in a 550F preheated oven). If the top gets done before the bottom, you will need to move the stone to a lower shelf before the next round. If the bottom crisps before the cheese caramelizes, then you will need to raise the stone for subsequent bakes.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Sprinkle with some dried parsley on top. Wait 3 to 5 minutes before slicing and serving, to allow the cheese to set slightly.