This pizza recipe represents our need for heat in our cooking. This pizza recipe is on the low to moderate heat side. It's slightly different from a typical BBQ chicken pizza because we add fresh jalapeno, a spicier rather than sweeter BBQ sauce and whole fresh cilantro leaves for a fresh unexpected flavor.
Bringing Spicy Back!
In most places my husband and I have lived over the years the jalapenos have been quite weak and barely have heat, so if that's the case where you live you might not get that jalapeno kick in this recipe. Our local jalapenos in our current home now seem to be as jalapenos should be, with the appropriate lingering back heat. I discovered this completely by accident my first time trying jalapenos here after my husband made a tempting batch of jalapeno poppers last summer. I took a huge bite of one right off the rack and squealed from the spicy surprise, causing a huge outburst of laughter from my boys. My husband laughed of course, but didn't believe they were as spicy as I had expressed until he took his 1st bite and pow...he knew exactly where my squeal came from. We just weren't accustomed to spicy jalapenos anymore.
It was a fiery surprise to actually get spicy jalapenos again! I couldn't remember the last time I had actually had a spicy jalapeno popper. Even restaurant jalapenos have been underwhelming in their heat lately.
I just recently learned a trick on how to pick spicy jalapenos without actually tasting one, but have not had a chance to actually test the theory. The theory is the older the jalapeno, the spicier. The bigger jalapenos with more wrinkles and more white striations, the spicier. Such jalapenos are obviously picked later and now I recall that most of the jalapenos I bought here last summer had looked this way in our market, not like the pretty supple and tight skinned jalapenos I was used to seeing. For years I've only seen attractive jalapenos in stores; smooth skinned and unwrinkled. For years my husband and I have been disappointed when we've tried cooking them in recipes that were supposed to be spicy, always disappointed. So, if you like the heat in certain recipes, give this visual test a try next time you shop for them and let me know if it's true for you. I'll update this as well as the husband and I like to cook with the peppers once in a while.
I've also heard that you can try aging them a couple weeks in your fridge and they can get spicier as well. I'm not as confident in this being as true as the older/spicier theory.
Not Your Kids' Pizza
We've had to adjust our spiciness level in cooking over the last few years due to our kiddos not being accustomed to any sort of heat in their food yet. This pizza we make for us and not them though. We usually cook for the whole family, not making special meals for the kids, but on occasion we do have to stray so that we can get our spicy fix. The kids prefer plain cheese pizza with maybe an olive or other single topping on occasion. If you're a parent you know that "It's tooooo hotttt face" your kid gives you while grabbing their water cup if you put too much seasoning in your cooking. I'm not even talking about spicy seasoning, just loaded with flavor.
We make this pizza on a large 13 X 18 heavy duty aluminum Sheet Pan
Homemade Pizza Dough
We have another post on our homemade pizza dough that we use for this pizza. It's an easy recipe that makes 2 sheet pan pizzas worth of pizza or a couple more smaller pizzas. If you use this dough and split the recipe right in half the dough comes out medium thickness, not too doughy and not too thin.
Give this recipe a try and let us know what you think.Print
BBQ Chicken Sheet Pan Pizza
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Pizza
- ¼ olive oil to coat veggies and edge of pizza dough
- 3 Organic Free Range Chicken thighs (or sub for 2 chicken breasts)
- ½ cup BBQ sauce of choice (we usually use a spicy one or make our own)
- ⅓ cup freshly shredded mozzarella
- ¼ cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup fresh whole cilantro leaves
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced into ¼" circles, drizzled with olive oil to just coat
- ¼ large red onion, cut into ¼ " half circles, drizzled with olive oil to just coat
- 2 or 3 large garlic cloves, finely sliced, drizzled with olive oil to just coat
- 1 Tbs Pasta Sprinkle or Salt-free Pizza Seasoning
- 1 heavy duty 13 X 18" Sheet Pan
- Heat oven to 500 degrees
- Sprinkle your favorite BBQ seasoning on both sides of chicken
- Grill chicken on grill or grill pan to 165 degrees, basting with BBQ sauce and set aside to rest when done.
- Roll out your pizza dough to fit sheet pan.
- Gently transfer dough to sheet pan.
- Cut chicken into 1" cubes or ½" sliced strips.
- With your finger gently rub some olive oil about 1 " all around edges of dough
- Spread BBQ sauce over pizza dough with spoon gently, covering the dough up to about ½ to 1" of edge.
- Sprinkle mozzarella over dough, then chicken.
- Next sprinkle cheddar cheese, red onion, jalapeno and garlic, spreading evenly.
- Sprinkle top with pasta sprinkle.
- Place sheet pan in over for 8 minutes, but peak in at 6 mins to check that top isn't bubbling.
- Once cheese starts bubbling, quickly slide pizza off pan directly onto oven racks, making sure dough not sticking to bottom. (This does take a little practice, but once you get it, it's so fast and easy to do)
- Cook for another 2 minutes or until bottom done and top bubbling and edges slightly brown.
- Let pizza rest few minutes before cutting into it. We like to cut sheet pan pizza into squares about 3 X 3."
- Serving Size: 1
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