One of our favorite ways to celebrate summer, especially living in MN, is to barbecue and spend time dining al fresco. Pizza is another thing we love … especially if it’s cooked on the BBQ, bringing together the best of both worlds.
We’ve recently discovered Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts, a gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free pizza crust that lends itself perfectly to our love of creating delicious homemade pizzas.
We think this gluten free, dairy free pizza recipe has a certain combination of flavors that just seem to marry well together, you know, like peanut butter and jelly, or salty and sweet, or chocolate and just about anything (but I digress). Long before the actual assembling of the pizza begins, our senses become heightened and tantalized at the aromas of seasoned chicken sautéing, sharp onions transitioning into a sweet scent as they break down during the caramelization process, red potatoes robed in olive oil and rosemary becoming slowly oven-roasted. Periodically we find our fingers dipping, ever so unconsciously, into the bowl of our favorite tangy and sweet barbecue sauce we’ll be using as our base, then licking our fingertips for every little drop. Oh the anticipation!
Along with the BBQ sauce, we love how flavors are enhanced by cooking pizza on the barbecue. We’ve found using a pizza stone is a perfect cooking surface, allowing the crust to result in a crispy exterior with a slightly chewy interior. The barbecuing method also seems to impart a different “extra” flavor that isn’t present when the pizza is baked in the oven. We often cook our pizzas in the oven during our Minnesota winters, however, and we find them completely delicious. If you’ve never experienced a truly barbecued pizza, I highly recommend you try it.
Additional flavor points I want also want to share are a) the roasted potatoes give the pizza a “meatiness” to the tooth and texture, so if you’ve vegetarian or vegan, eliminating the chicken won’t change the mouth-feel and satisfaction of enjoying something that feels hearty, and b) we noticed that when the caramelized onions are placed on top of the other ingredients, there’s almost a cheese-like texture that occurs. Also, by placing them on top, the onions seem to help hold the other toppings in place, which can be difficult when no cheese is used. If you can tolerate cheese in your diet, a superb addition to this pizza is goat cheese. Little smatterings dotting the pizza make the flavors pop (not a poor me moment, but I do really miss the goat cheese)! We hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do![hr]
Prep time: about 20 minutes
Cooking time: about an hour for pizza toppings, plus about 10-12 minutes for each pizza
Oven temp: 400ºF
Makes: 4 9” pizzas
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 large sweet onions (like Vidalia), peeled, sliced in half, then cut into slices
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
10 medium red potatoes, skin on, sliced into 1/4” slices
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2” long spear fresh rosemary, about 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed, dried and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
salt and pepper, to taste
2 packages (4 crusts total) Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crusts
2-3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for brushing the crusts
1 cup (approximately) gluten free barbecue sauce – Sweet Baby Ray’s Vidalia Onion Barbecue Sauce is perfect with this recipe
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Line an edged baking sheet with foil and brush with oil or use cooking spray to coat foil. Set aside.
In a large, heavy-bottomed, high-walled skillet (I love using my cast iron Dutch oven) preheat 3 Tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Add onions and salt. Stir to coat with oil. Cook over medium heat about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking, stirring occasionally. Onions are caramelized when they become a translucent golden brown and are very soft and sweet tasting. In a cast iron pot, this will take about 30-40 minutes. If using a different skillet, adjust heat and cooking time accordingly so onions cook slowly and don’t scorch. When caramelized, remove onions to a bowl, reserving the pan as is for cooking the chicken.
While onions are cooking, place red potato slices, onion powder, garlic powder, 1 Tablespoon olive oil, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste in a large bowl. Toss to coat potatoes well. Transfer potatoes to prepared baking sheet and spread out in a single layer. Bake at 400ºF for 10 minutes. Flip potatoes to opposite side and continue cooking about 10 minutes. Potatoes should be fork tender but not soft as they will cook again during the barbecuing process. Remove from oven and set aside.
Place pizza stone on the unheated barbecue grill. (If you don’t have a pizza stone, heat-proof smooth surface bricks will work great too. Place them butted up to each other so no extra heat can come through the cracks.) TIP: To create an even heat throughout the barbecue and heat the stone so it cooks the crust evenly without scorching, place the stone or bricks all the way to one side of the grill. Turn the flames under the stone to low, while having the uncovered flame on medium heat. Allow the barbecue to preheat to about 350º.
While the potatoes are baking and the barbecue is preheating, in the onion pan, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add chicken and salt and pepper to taste, and cook until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Set aside.
Building the pizzas … Yay! We find it’s easiest to cook the pizzas one at a time, but after cooking them individually, I think an assembly line process would work fine too. Our initial concern was that the assembled pizzas waiting the longest to be barbecued might become saturated from the sauce and cause the crust to result in a different texture. Use whatever approach works best for you. Regardless of the process you choose, be sure to not skip the olive oil process. Brush extra virgin olive oil over both sides of a crust. Using a pizza peel to transfer the crust back and forth is ideal, but tongs and a plate will work just fine. Barbecue the crust for about 2 minutes on each side. This adds a slight crispness to the crust. Remove from BBQ. Spread about 1/4 cup barbecue sauce over one side of pizza crust. Place a layer of potatoes, then about 1/4th the chicken, then top with about 1/4th the caramelized onions. Return pizza to the barbecue and cook about 5 minutes. Remove to a flat surface and cut into quarters. Repeat the process for each pizza. You can also pre-coat all the crusts with oil and precook them. Then create an assembly line to apply all the toppings to all four crusts at one time. Cook pizzas individually at this point.
Enjoy the Aaahhh, Pizza! experience. If you have any pizza leftover, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate. It reheats well in the microwave, or in 375º oven until thoroughly hot.[hr]
What’s makes pizza delicious to you? What’s your favorite pizza cooking method?
Be sure to share … We LOVE it when you do!