Thursday, September 9, 2010

Grilled BBQ Chicken Pizza


I, for one, am refusing to accept the passing of summer.  Actually, with the gray, chilly weather we have been having here in coastal Carlsbad, we really didn't have summer, so it really can't pass!  On the flip side... our cooler than normal summer has put all of the summer fruits and vegetables a few weeks behind and we are still seeing the local markets with perfectly ripe fruits and vegies in abundance.  

With mild temps nearly all year round, the grill is my main cooking device, with the exception of those 14 or so days a year that it rains.
Dough par baking on the grill
Pizza on the grill often gets a raised eyebrow or two when I explain that I'm tossing the dough directly on to the grates.  The most frequent question is, "Won't it fall through?"   No, it' won't!  

The dough is rolled thin (or thick if you prefer) and placed on the hot grate for a few moments until the bottom of the dough is cooked.  Most recipes will have you flip it over and place the toppings on the dough while it is on the grill, however I've found that this is a perfect way for me to get overcooked (burned!) pizza.  After cooking one side of the dough I remove it from the grill and flip it onto a rimless baking sheet that has been sprinkled with semolina.  Quickly add the sauce and toppings.  Sliding the finished pie onto the grates is easily done with a slight shake of the pan and within minutes you have perfect, bubbling, cheesy pizza ready for a family dinner.

Par baked pizza with toppings... waiting for the cheese!
With the exception of making the dough (but you could use store bought!), the grilled pizza is done in a flash and ready for the table.  Our favorite is BBQ Chicken, but you could just as easily do a Pizza Margherita, plain cheese, or a pie with the works.  Perfect for an appetizer tray or a full meal.  The grill may not be the same as a wood fired kitchen oven, but it most certainly does the trick!



Grilled Pizza

1 batch of your favorite pizza dough, or store bought.

BBQ Sauce or pizza sauce
Chicken
onion
cilantro
cheese *
avocado


Semolina Flour for sprinkling on the pan

* (I use a blend of pre-shredded cheeses from Trader Joe's, Quattro Formaggio as well as a shredded blend of mozzarella, cheddar and jack.  For the BBQ Chicken pizza I add some of my own shredded smoked gouda - note that the gouda is not the best melting cheese and may not melt as quickly as the others, but adds a wonderful smoky flavor!)

Preheat grill, then roll pizza dough to desired thickness.  Have all topping ingredients ready to go by your grill.

Reduce grill heat to low and place rolled dough directly onto oiled grates.  Cover and cook for about 2 minutes, just until grill marks appear on bottom of dough.  The dough will begin to puff.  Remove dough to a rimless baking pan generously sprinkled with semolina flour or fine cornmeal, flipping it so that the cooked side is up.  

Working quickly, spread sauce over dough and top with your favorite toppings.  Slide prepared pizza onto grill over low heat and cover.  Cover and cook until bottom of pizza is slightly crispy and the cheese is melted.  Don't peek at the pizza too often as you will release the heat from the grill and the cheese will not melt as quickly...  However, do keep a watchful eye on the pizza as the bottom may burn easily if grill is too hot.  If the bottom begins to burn, slide the rimless pan under the pizza and remove from the grill, line the grates with foil and return the pizza to finish melting the cheese.  

When the pizza is done, remove from the grill and cool slightly before serving.  Top with extra Parmesan, crushed red peppers, cilantro, avocado or any of your favorite toppings.

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On a side note... we would like to introduce Elizabeth!!  Elizabeth is a new addition to our neighborhood (no... not my house!) and came into the world about 5 weeks ago.  She has 2 sisters and 1 brother who look just like her!  With her adorable face and eyes that melted my heart, I couldn't help but post a photo for everyone to see.  Weighing in at a whopping 2 lbs, she is the "big" one of the family.  She lives a few houses up from us and we have had the pleasure of watching the puppies grow from infants to toddlers so far.  Watching them get their balance and form their little personalities has been a joy!

Elizabeth



16 comments:

  1. Elizabeth is adorable. I am glad I am not in your neighborhood or my children would be teasing to bring her home!

    I think your pizza sounds like a great protest to the end of summer. YUM!!

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  2. Yummy...I don't have an outdoor grill -- I know, a travesty in Texas. This could also be baked on a pizza stone in a hot oven, yes? Love BBQ pizza...

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  3. She is so cute. These big eyes went straight to my heart. Whatever has the word pizza in it is a winner for me. I simply love pizza.

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  4. I've never grilled pizza and I never thought to grill it directly ON the grill! This looks SO good. If you ever write a cookbook please allow me to purchase a copy and please write a little message and sign it for me!

    As for Elizabeth I just wanna kiss that cute little puppy face! But it's nice to be able to kiss her goodbye and go back home to no puddles on the floor, isn't it? :)

    Happy Friday.

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  5. OMG, does Elizabeth want a home, I'd take her! I'm going to have to try doing pizza on the grill it looks so easy!

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  6. I hope you gave a bit of pizza to Elizabeth to welcome her to the world and the neighborhood. I'm sure she'll be around a lot hoping to pick up what falls from your table (I sure would do that!). I love grilled pizza!

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  7. I am not a dog person, and I still think Elizabeth is the cutest thing ever!

    Love grilled pizza, so easy and versatile!

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  8. Oh my goodness look at that sweet face!!! She is so adorable!

    The pizza looks awesome!

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  9. LOVE grilled pizza! I have several different recipes on my blog and use a pizza griller which helps get the pie on and off! Check out my pizza recipes when you have time.

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  10. That pizza looks delicious! Love the addition of cilantro on it!
    OMG, Elizabeth has got be one of the cutest puppies ever. I think I would have to love on her 24/7 :o)

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  11. I MUST try grilled pizza. I putting it off, but this looks SO good!

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  12. I love BBQ chicken pizza! I bet its even more amazing on the grill!

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  13. I love grilled pizza.... have a very nice pizza dough on my blog if anyone is interested... not too hard, just takes some time to rise, etc.... grilling gives the pizza such a great taste... btw, that puppy is so cute!!!

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  14. Aww those are the cutest puppies! And I love BBQ chicken pizza! I still haven't grilled one - although I've had it in my head to try it all summer.

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  15. OMG, please more puppy pics!!! How adorable is that little one.

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