Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Grilled Green Chile Chicken Pizza




It’s hot here. It's hot everywhere. It's that stretch of summer where I refuse to turn on my oven because it heats my house up by 25 degrees. No thank you very much. This leads to a lot of grilling, which I did plenty of this past weekend (along with some cold beer). Saturday night I was I was feeling pizza, which I normally make with fresh tomatoes from the garden, but those are still a few weeks away. I did have some leftover grilled sweet corn and fresh green chiles I pulled out of my garden.

As is apparent, from my Southwest roots I developed an appetite for all things green chile. This is no exception, and along with the delicious peak season sweet corn, it turned out fabulous. If you're in a pinch, you can use leftover roast chicken instead of grilling your own, but make sure to spice it before sprinkling it over your pizza.

Grilled Green Chile Chicken Pizza
Makes 3 16-inch pizzas

Dough (adapted from Alton Brown)
3 cups flour (16oz)
2 ½ teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/3 cups warm water

Sauce
4 tomatillos, husks removed
2 green chiles
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon sugar

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
Salt and pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
4 medium ears sweet corn, grilled or boiled, cut off the cob
6 ounces Mozzarella cheese

For the dough: Combine the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Start the mixer on low, using the hook attachment, and mix until the dough just comes together, approximately 1 1/2 minutes. Increase the mixer speed to medium and knead for 15 minutes. Be careful as your mixer may try to walk off the counter.

Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disk. Gently stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if a see-through, taut membrane has formed. The dough will be quite sticky, but manageable. Fold the dough onto itself and form it into a smooth ball. Lightly oil the bowl of your mixer (olive oil or cooking spray). Place the dough in the bowl and roll it around to coat with the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature to double in size, approximately 1 hour.

Split the dough into 3 equal, and then flatten each piece into a disk on the countertop. Form each piece into a ball. Roll each ball on the counter until they tighten into rounds. Cover the balls with a tea towel and rest for 45 minutes. While that's happening you can prepare everything else.

For the sauce: Preheat grill to high heat, grill chiles and tomatillos over direct heat, turning occasionally, until soft and charred. Let chiles cool for 5 minutes, remove skins, stems, and seeds. Place tomatillos, chiles, cilantro, and sugar in a food processor and blend until smooth. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper

For chicken: Season chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander. Place on grill and cook, lid down, for 4 minutes. Move chicken to cooler part of grill (keep main burner on high but keep chicken off of direct heat) and grill, lid down, until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165°F, abut 5-6 minutes. Remove from grill and rest for 5 minutes. Shred with fork.

Assemble: Return all burners to high on grill, close lid. Lightly flour the countertop and flatten 1 of the dough balls. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 16-inch round, rotating the dough as you go. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured pizza peel and stretch to re-shape if necessary (it will likely shrink so you may need to let it rest and then roll it out a bit more).

Oil grill grates and turn all burners to medium. Brush the dough with a small amount of olive oil and flip onto the hot grill. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of the crust is golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Brush the top side of the dough with a small amount of olive oil, then immediately flip using the peel or tongs. Spread 1/3 of the sauce over the pizza, sprinkle 1/3 of the chicken and corn followed by 1/3 of the cheese. Close the lid and cook until the bottom of crust is golden brown and the cheese has melted, another 1 to 2 minutes. Using the peel, remove the pizza to a cooling rack and let rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing. You can also hold them in a warm oven set to 200°F. Repeat with remaining pizzas and enjoy!