Back in the early 1990s, pizza was mostly a marinara sauce and mozzarella type of affair—dressed up with a choice of toppings that might run the gamut from pepperoni and sausage to green peppers and olives. That is, until California Pizza Kitchen came into vogue and upped the ante of our pizza game. The suburban family restaurant garnered a cult following and their barbecue chicken pizza became a hero of the decade.
The hype is deserved. There’s nothing quite like the combo of BBQ sauce, tender chicken, thin-sliced red onion, cilantro, mozz, cotija, and cilantro. Sweet and salty and smoky in equal measure, it’s got a “nacho pizza” vibe thanks to traditional Mexican ingredients. We couldn’t be more thrilled about our riff on the pie, which we developed in partnership with All-Clad to celebrate the memorable recipes from each of the five decades they have been in business. The Barbecue Chicken Pizza—a combo which has since turned mainstream—remains the star of the CPK menu. (Extra-credit for that food-processor pizza dough, which you should have in frequent rotation!) Best of all, it requires just 20 minutes of hands-on time and 15 of cooking time!
Incidentally, we like to make this recipe in a 12-inch All-Clad skillet. We’re tipping our caps to All-Clad this year, for 50 years of culinary success. They’ve seen trends like barbecue chicken pizza come and go, but—as is true of their brand—they know this one is a winner. Without further ado, here’s the recipe you need right now.
In the fifty years that All-Clad has been making their cookware, they have seen every food trend that has come along, including barbecue chicken pizza, the darling of the 1990s. During that decade, the popular restaurant California Pizza Kitchen revolutionized the humble pie, taking it far beyond the usual pepperoni and sausage and serving things like tuna melt and eggplant Parmesan pizzas. Their barbecue chicken pizza—the most popular of them all—remains on the menu today. In our twist on this now-classic combo, we bake the pie in a frying pan in the oven, making it totally doable for a weeknight meal.
• Olive oil for brushing
• 1/2 batch Food Processor Pizza Dough
• 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) barbecue sauce
• 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) shredded mozzarella cheese
• 1 cup (6 oz./180 g) shredded cooked chicken
• 1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
• 1 jalapeño chile, thinly sliced (optional)
• 1/4 cup (2 oz./60 g) crumbled cotija cheese
• Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- Place a 12-inch (30-cm) skillet in a cold oven, preheat the oven to 500°F (260°C), and heat the skillet for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the skillet from the oven and brush with olive oil.
- Stretch the pizza dough into a 12-inch (30-cm) round, then very carefully transfer it to the skillet and fit it into the bottom of the pan, making sure to cover the entire surface. Spread the barbecue sauce evenly on the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch (12-mm) border uncovered. Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese, then top with the chicken, onion and jalapeño. Brush the edges of the crust lightly with olive oil.
- Bake until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes.
- Transfer the pizza to a cutting board and top with the cotija cheese and cilantro leaves. Cut into slices and serve immediately. Serves 2 to 4.