I grew up on buffalo wings. And I’m fully convinced that you could put buffalo chicken on anything and I’d eat it. Ice cream? Yes. brownies? Yes. Pie? Oh my goodness YES please (really, someone needs to do this). I always thought I lived by the philosophy the hotter the better when it comes to my buffalo chicken. Until I met Chris and learned his philosophy was “however hot you can handle, I can handle 100 times hotter. Make me cry.” (basically). Next to him, I feel like the biggest wuss in the world.
This buffalo chicken pizza isn’t particularly spicy. But it’s packed with buffalo flavor. Plus, it has a blue cheese crust. Yes, you heard me right. I got the buffalo chicken pizza idea from another blog participating in Project Food Blog and immediately knew I had to make it. But I ended up making tons of changes and ended up with what I thought was a near perfect buffalo chicken pizza. Though next time I will be kicking the spice level up a few notches.
Blue Cheese Crust (makes enough dough for 2 pizzas):
• 2 2/3 C flour
• 2 1/4 t yeast (1 packet)
• 1/2 t salt
• 1 C whole milk
• 2 + 1 T olive oil
• 2 t sugar
• 1 C blue cheese
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees and then turn it off.
Combine flour, yeast, and salt in your mixer bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat the milk to about 100 degrees F, but don’t let it get to a boil. Mix in 2 T of olive oil and the sugar.
Now, put your dough hook in your mixer and turn it on the lowest level (this should be the bowl your flour mixture is in). Slowly pour the milk mixture in and when everything is mixed together, add the blue cheese. Turn the mixer up to medium and let it kneed for about 5 minutes.
If you don’t have a mixer with a dough hook? I would just mix everything in the bowl and then knead with your hands on a floured surface.
Now, take the dough out of the bowl and shape it into a bowl. Lightly grease the bowl with about a tablespoon of olive oil and place the ball of dough in it. Roll it around to coat and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Put the dough bowl in your pre-warmed oven for about 30 minutes. You could also just put the bowl in a warm area, but I didn’t have a place in my apartment warm enough, so I used the oven method.
Check out how much my dough rose in 30 minutes:
While all this was going on, I got started on the rest of the pizza.
Buffalo Chicken (makes enough for 2 pizzas):
• 1 1/2 C vegetable oil
• 3 C flour
• 3 t salt
• 2 t pepper
• 2 t dried thyme
• 2 t paprika
• 1 t cayenne pepper
• 1/2 C buttermilk
• 2 chicken breasts, cut into small cubes (I used about 1 lb. of chicken breast tenders)
• 2 T hot sauce (I almost always use Frank’s Red Hot)
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, and cayenne pepper with a whisk.
Pour the buttermilk in and use a fork to mix it up until clumps form.
Make sure all your chicken is cut into little chunks.
Heat your oil in a pan. And coat a few pieces of chicken with the flour mixture. I didn’t feel like it was sticking quite enough, so I ended up dipping my chicken into a little more buttermilk and then putting the pieces into the flour mixture.
Then put the chicken in the frying pan with the oil on medium heat. Fry for about 3 minutes or until lightly golden. It should be just cooked all the way through… but don’t overcook because you’ll still be putting it into the oven when it’s on the pizza!
Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. And repeat with all the chicken pieces.
Once the chicken is all fried, put it in a Tupperware with hot sauce. And shake the Tupperware like crazy to coat all the chicken.
Phew, you’re getting there! The dough is done and the chicken is done. Now, on to the little parts.
Spicy Red Sauce (makes enough for 2 pizzas):
• 6 oz. tomato paste
• 1/2 C water
• 1/4 C olive 0il
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 t salt
• 1 t paprika
• 1/2 t pepper
• 1/2 T dried oregano
• 1/2 T dried basil
So, this sauce isn’t really so much spicy as it is flavorful. More flavorful than the typical pizza sauce at least.
Mix together the tomato paste, water, and olive oil until it’s nice and smooth.
Then add the paprika, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil.
Ranch Cheese (makes enough for 2 pizzas):
• 1 T flour
• 1 T chopped fresh parsley
• 1/2 t garlic powder
• 1/8 t Salt
• 1 3/4 C shredded cheese (I used 2% mozzarella)
I mean, ranch cheese? OK. I have a secret though. I don’t like ranch dressing Blarg! It’s legit one of only two foods I dislike (along with whipped cream). But I have a feeling I probably would like a nice homemade ranch dressing and this cheese was totally simplified. Cheese, garlic powder, and parsley are all just fine by me!
All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together. SIMPLE.
OK, now that all the separate components are done, it’s time to put them all together.
This was also my first opportunity to use my brand new Cuisinart convection brick oven that Chris got me for my birthday. After 2 years, he’s learned the true way to my heart is through kitchen appliances (I mean, I do love jewelry, but my heart really is with kitchen appliances). He also got my a Le Creuset grill pan. Swoon!
Isn’t it purty?
First, make sure your oven is pre-heating to 500 degrees.
Separate the dough in half since you made enough to make 2 pizzas (if you made the full dough recipe). Roll it into a round on a lightly floured surface.
Spread generously with the tomato sauce.
Now sprinkle the cheese all around.
And top with buffalo chicken pieces.
Now pop your pizza in your oven. Or your super cute brick oven that you’re so in love with you don’t even know what to do with yourself.
And stare at it as it cooks. Obviously.
After about 12 minutes, my pizza appeared to be done. Since it was my first time using the brick oven, I’m still getting used to it… The top of the pizza browned up quite a bit and maybe wasn’t the pretties thing in the world.
But that’s OK… because the taste was amazing! It wasn’t overly spicy and next time I might have to pull out the Xtra Hot Frank’s, but the buffalo flavor was definitely all there.
And OMG the crust! I loved that the blue cheese was built into it. It wasn’t overpowering, but it was awesome. I want to make rolls with the dough and just sit on my couch and eat them one by one. Blue cheese bread. Yes.
You could totally top this pizza with some homemade blue cheese dressing too. I didn’t because I come from the camp that say you absolutely do not dip your buffalo chicken into blue cheese. Nope. You dip the carrots and celery (and other various vegetables) into blue cheese to cool your mouth down in between wings. What’s the point of having a super spicy buffalo wing if you’re going to dip it in cool blue cheese? Plus, the cheese was already in the crust, so that was definitely enough. Rant done.
This pizza is pretty perfect as is.
And now for a confession. So, the pizza you just saw was actually with the second half of the dough. Why? Well, when I was transferring the first pizza from my counter to the oven, it kinda sorta fell apart. Beyond repair (now, I always make sure to use a pizza peel!). I almost chucked the whole thing in the trash. But then I had a bright idea.
I simply took the messed up dough (it had all the toppings on it) and folded it into calzone form.
Then I baked it at 500 degrees for about 18 minutes.
And it worked! OMG. I would almost say this was better than the pizza. I mean, it was different and kinda fun. And sliced up, it made a really nice lunch the next day.
So, there you have it. Kitchen failures turned into little bursts of genius.
And now that I wrote this post, I totally want another buffalo chicken pizza (and/or calzone) ASAP. I told you. I grew up on buffalo wings and I’ll take them in any form I can get. In fact, I also like buffalo chicken in my mac and cheese.
How do you like your buffalo chicken? Spicy or not? With blue cheese or not? On pizza perhaps??