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~ RedHot-Ranch & Tangy-Blue Buffalo-Chicken Pizza ~

IMG_5964Right around this time of year, early Fall, college football season becomes a big deal in many households all across America -- many folks, men and women alike, are obsessed by it. Experience has taught that game-day and great-pub-grub go hand-in-hand, and, one is as important as the other.  If you've ever been to an at-the-stadium or sit-in-front of the TV tailgate party where the fare doesn't rise to the occasion, the occasion is lack luster.  Game days are fun and exciting days, they're days to throw cares and diets to the wind, and, win-or-lose, indulge.

6a0120a8551282970b026bde967366200cFootball fans of all ages, particularly the menfolk and teenagers, will eat "alla Buffalo chicken" (in the style of Buffalo chicken) in any form it gets served to them -- they gravitate to it. Lucky for these lovers of all things chicken-wings, what started in 1964 as late-night pub grub at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, deep-fried chicken wingsBuffalo-chicken-style comes in many forms (appetizers, snacks, salads, sandwiches, main dishes) -- and pizza is just one of many.  That said:

A great pizza needs a crust -- Buffalo chicken pizza is no exception.  Try my A-1 All-Purpose Bread Machine Pizza Dough.

6a0120a8551282970b01bb088cbd77970dA great pizza starts with a great crust, but, finding a pizza dough recipe to suit your requirements is not as easy as the ingredients list indicates:  flour, water, salt, yeast, and sometimes sugar and/or olive oil.  Cooks who take pizza making seriously have more than one pizza dough recipe in their repertoire because certain pizzas require a certain type of crust -- there's no getting around it.  Beyond that, within each type, everyone who takes pizza making seriously, professionally or at home, makes their dough a bit differently.  Pizza dough and pizza is personal -- there's no getting around that either.  That said, if you are new to pizza dough, sans a lot of the chemistry and science behind pizza dough, this recipe is for you.

IMG_5966This Buffalo-chicken pizza recipe is a game day winner:    

IMG_5900For 2, 12"-round Buffalo chicken pizzas (in order of assembly):

2-2 1/4  pounds pizza dough, my recipe, your recipe, or, high-quality store-bought, divided in half

1 1/4  cups my recipe for RedHot-Ranch pizza sauce, recipe below

3-4  cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2-3  cups pulled and/or shredded roasted chicken, preferably taken from 3-4 dark-meat oven-roasted chicken leg-thigh quarters

3/4-1  cup rough-chopped matchstick carrots

3/4-1  cup very-thin-sliced celery small-diced celery

3/4-1 cup very-thin-sliced red onion, slices cut into quarters

3/4-1 cup blue cheese crumbles   

6a0120a8551282970b026bde94f3b6200cFor my RedHot-Ranch pizza sauce (yield: 1 1/4 generous cups):

3/4  cup Hidden Valley ranch dressing

1/2  cup Frank's RedHot wing sauce

2  tablespoons honey

1  teaspoon dehydrated minced garlic

1 1/2  teaspoons dehydrated minced onion

IMG_5693 IMG_5693 IMG_5693~ Step 1. To prepare the pizza sauce, in a 2-cup measuring container, thoroughly stir all ingredients together.  Set aside, at room temperature, while prepping all ingredients, as directed, for the pizza.

IMG_5904 IMG_5905~ Step 2. To form the pizza dough into pizza crusts, using a paper towel, oil 2, 12" round pizza pans or 2, 12" x 9" rectangular pans with about 2 tablespoons olive oil on each pan. Place one ball of dough (1 pound each) on each pan and allow to rest, about 10-15 minutes -- -- to give the gluten time to relax.  Thirty minutes is ok too. Pat and press dough evenly across bottoms and evenly up sides of pans. I do this in 3 parts taking 15-20 minutes, allowing dough to rest 5 minutes each time before patting and pressing.

IMG_5909 IMG_5909 IMG_5909 IMG_5909 IMG_5909 IMG_5909~Step 3.  To top the crusts, spread a generous 1/2 cup of sauce over the surface of each.  In the following order, scatter the mozzarella, shredded chicken, carrots, celery, onion, and blue cheese crumbles evenly over both crusts.

Note:  At this point pizzas can be baked, one-at-a-time on center rack of a 375° oven that has been heated with a pizza stone in it, or, you can let them rise in the pans for 1 to 2 hours prior to baking, which, if you have the time, is worth the wait, as it renders the crust light and airy.

IMG_5949 IMG_5949~Step 4.  Working one-at-a-time place each pan of pizza, on pizza stone, that has be placed on the center rack of a preheated 375° oven, 6-8 minutes. Using a spatula, lift a corner of the pizza up and using your other hand (via a pot holder), tilt pan and slide pie off pan onto stone. Continue to bake for 6-7 more minutes, for a total of 12-15 minutes baking time.  Crust will be lightly-brown and cheese will be molten. Using a pizza peel, transfer pizza to a rack to cool for 3-5 minutes, to allow the cheese to set up a bit, prior to slicing.

Allow to cool about 3 minutes prior to slicing & serving:

IMG_5967RedHot-Ranch & Tangy-Blue Buffalo-Chicken Pizza:  Recipe yields dough for 2, 12"-round pizzas/2, 12"-round Buffalo-style pizzas/6-8 servings each/12-16 slices pizza.

Special Equipment List: 2-cup measuring container; spoon; cutting board; chef's knife; 2, 12"-round pizza pans; paper towel; pizza stone; large metal spatula; pizza peel; large cooling rack

6a0120a8551282970b01b7c8e8a64b970bCook's Note: Pizza.  It's one of my favorite foodie subjects.  Next to a cheese shop, a pizza shop is one of my favorite places to hang out.  Give me a slice and some suds and my day is made.  I like thick pizza, thin pizza, round pizza and square pizza. I like pizza with just sauce and cheese, or, piled high with a melange of toppings.  I like white pizza and stuffed pizza too.  "No matter how you slice it, I've never met a pizza I didn't like", is one of my favorite sayings.  There's more.  I get downright giddy when I come across a new-to-me pizza -- one I've never heard of, and, while visiting a city I'd never been to before.  Different city, different pizza.  Try my ~ Detroit-Style Brick Cheese & Pepperoni Pizza Pan Pizza ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020) 


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