Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday Night Pizza

Every Friday that we are home is officially Homemade Pizza Night at our house. The girls take turns helping me prepare the pizzas and the evening is always full of laughing and special time together. Sheesh...I sound like a Hallmark card - let's just get back to cooking.

Anyway, we have tried many varieties of topping over the 3 or so years that we have had this tradition going, and we tried a new one last night that is really worth sharing. Hubs and Zippy (our 11 year old son) are huge fans of buffalo hot wings. They like things spicy, but not put-the-toilet-paper-in-the-freezer hot, so I set out to come up with a recipe for pizza that would have some of the hot wing flavor but be not too hot.

I will discuss how to make an awesome homemade pizza crust another day, but trust me when I say it is very simple and sooooo worth the effort!!

Here is what I came up with:

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cut into small pieces
2 T. butter
3/4 c. Frank's Red Hot
1/4 c. BBQ sauce (I like Sweet Baby Ray's)
1 c. ranch dressing
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
prepared 16-inch pizza crust

Preheat the oven to 425°. After you cook the chicken, take it out of the pan and cut into small pieces (sort of diced). Throw the chicken back into the pan over medium heat and add the butter, Red Hot, and BBQ sauce. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes. Spread the ranch dressing over the pizza crust to within about an inch of the edge. Okay, the thing you have to understand about my cooking is that I am all about excess. Like if a little ranch is good, keep on adding more until it's almost too much, but not quite. Follow that? Anyway, I probably added about 1 1/4 cup or so. Next, spread the chicken mixture over the ranch dressing and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake until the crust is brown and the cheese is bubbly, about 10 minutes. Watch it carefully, though because at this high temp, there is a fine line between done and "oh crap-the smoke detector is going off and one of the kids needs to go out and throw this thing over the fence into the pasture."

One last nugget of info regarding pizza - I discovered about 6 months ago that if you mix up 1-2 T of melted butter with about a half a teaspoon of garlic salt mixed into it, and brush that on the crust as soon as the pizza comes out of the oven, you will have people begging for your "secret recipe." There is just something about warm, melty butter and garlic that makes everything better. Of course, you are listening to someone who, as a teenager, would put garlic butter on her toast in the morning when we didn't have jelly, so consider the source, ok?

There. Now you have the perfect recipe to keep those men in the family very happy. My dad once told me: "There are two ways to a man's heart, and you better go through his stomach!" Nuff said.

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