Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Week 20 - Barbecue

Week 20 of the cooking challenge passed during our Savannah road trip, so my plan was to tackle it the week we returned. They announce the themes a few weeks in advance to allow for advanced planning, and all I could do was laugh when I saw the theme and dates for Week 20 - barbecue. Our road trip took us through the Carolinas, so how could I even think about making barbecue so soon after we got back? Some of the folks down South roast a whole pig for days, and they've worked for years on perfecting their barbecue sauce, so there was just no way I would be able to compete.

Instead of guaranteeing us some disappointing pulled pork, I chose instead to just use BBQ sauce and make a BBQ chicken pizza. (Of course, this was before the weekly challenge post noted that they meant "any sort of grilling" as BBQ, but I already decided to make this, so whatever.) Although I usually try to make something new for the challenge, I have made this before, but since it had been at least 2 years since the last BBQ chicken pizza came out of our oven, it basically felt like something new.

For the pizza, I used:

- 1 package of whole wheat pizza dough ($1.19)
- 1 can of (cooked) chicken breast ($2)
- about 1/2 cup plus a few tbsp of bbq sauce ($1)
- sliced red onion (probably about 1/2 of a regular sized one but this one was monstrously large, so less than that - a lot of the onion got frozen or pickled) ($0.60)
- shredded mozzarella cheese ($1)
- 1/3 bunch of cilantro ($0.34)

The entire pizza cost approximately $6.13, which is really good for dinner for 2. At the dollar slice joint down the street, that would buy us about 6 slices of plain pizza, and this was just as filling, but with healthier and better ingredients (as well as protein and vegetables!). Pizza can definitely be a very budget-friendly dinner choice.

Making the pizza was pretty easy, but I was a little out of practice since I haven't bought and rolled out pizza dough in a bit.

The steps were:

1. Roll out the pizza dough on a board with some corn meal and then put it in a greased baking pan. (Normally I do this on a cutting board but you can probably see from looking at it that this time I did it in the baking pan. It turned out fine, but I just didn't have the space or board to use separately this time.)

2. In a separate bowl, mash up or shred the chicken and mix with BBQ sauce (amount to taste).

3. Add about 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (or more, that was just an estimate) to the dough, and spread on the dough.

4. Add the chicken and then the red onions.

5. Add the shredded mozzarella.

6. Bake pizza at 425 degrees for about 8 minutes.

7. Remove pizza from oven and add cilantro leaves.

This is one of my favorite types of pizza, but it just wasn't that satisfying this time. I don't know if I just didn't use enough BBQ sauce or did something different, but I remember it tasting much better the first time I made it. While it was fine, it just didn't pack that zesty BBQ sauce punch that you want to get from a BBQ chicken pizza. I guess I'll have to refine this one a little bit more to get it right next time.

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