Buffalo Chicken Pizza: Super!

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Super Bowl Sunday.

Some folks realize that “Bowl,” in this case, refers not to the bowl of Doritos sitting next to the TV, but to a football stadium.

The original bowl, the Yale Bowl, was shaped… well, like a bowl. Sloping sides, kinda round…

Since then, the Rose Bowl, site of the first-ever football playoff game (1902: Michigan over Stanford, 49-0), has lent its name to all kinds of other playoff (bowl) games.

The estimable (AT&T) Orange, (Discover) Cotton, and (Allstate) Sugar Bowls have been joined by a host of other, newer bowls, including the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl; Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, and Little Caesars (Salad?) Bowl – the latter three of which would make a splendid meal, IMHO.

Which brings us to the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVI, as a matter of fact. (Wonder how many people can still read Roman numerals? They’re kinda the buggy whip of the 21st century, unless you enjoy being able to read dates on 100-year-old buildings.)

The Super Bowl, our yearly national indulgence in junk “fun” food, might as well refer to a giant bowl of chips, or popcorn, or salsa or cookies or barbecued ribs.

Super, as in super-calorific.

You’re planning on serving a big bowl of salad to your guests this Sunday, right?

Well, maybe on the side. But classic Super Sunday food is more the order of the day. Think chili. And nachos. Pizza.

And Buffalo chicken wings.

How about Buffalo chicken pizza?

Well, why not? Chicken tenders tossed with hot sauce, layered on a crisp/chewy pizza crust with blue cheese and scallions (standing in for the traditional celery), topped with a melting crown of mozzarella and provolone… It’s not exactly a bowl, but it sure sounds super!

Better yet, you can bake the crust and prepare the ingredients a couple of days ahead. Then, 10 minutes before halftime, throw the toppings on the crust, bake for 7 or 8 minutes, and serve.

I promise, you won’t miss a single second of Madonna.

Let’s get this Super Bowl pizza ready, shall we?

Did you know that by clicking anywhere on this block of pictures, you can blow them up to full size? Go ahead, give it a try; it’ll work for any of our gridded photos.

First, the chicken. I’m starting with 3 pounds of tenders, which will make 4 or 5 medium (12″ round) pizzas. Use more or less, as desired.

Now, I like to brine my chicken before cooking it; while not strictly necessary, it really helps it stay moist and juicy in the 450°F oven as it bakes atop the pizza.

For 3 pounds of tenders, I mix 4 cups cold water, 1 tablespoon salt, and 2 tablespoons sugar. I cut the tenders in 1 1/2″ to 2″ pieces, soak them in the brine for 30 minutes or so, then drain. Remember, no pressure – this step is strictly optional. If you don’t have time, skip it.

Combine 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and 1 tablespoon salt in a large lidded container. Toss the tenders in the flour. Shake off any excess flour.

Heat 1″ of vegetable oil (peanut oil preferred) in an electric frying pan set to 375°F, or in a heavy skillet, about 10″ wide and at least 2 1/2″ deep, set over medium heat.

Cook the chicken in batches, adding enough each time to fill the surface of the pan about half full. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes; the tenders will sink to the bottom, then float to the top and turn a very light golden brown.

Transfer the chicken to paper towels to drain. Break open the biggest piece, to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

As soon as each batch is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a large bowl, and douse it with hot or wing sauce, Frank’s preferred. Continue adding just-fried chicken on top of the hot-sauced chicken, adding hot sauce, and tossing, until all the chicken is cooked and coated with sauce.

Refrigerate the chicken until you’re ready to make the pizzas. In the meantime, it’s perfectly OK to “test” a few pieces… you know, just to make sure they’re cooked and seasoned exactly right.

OK, I hear you – do you HAVE to deep-fry the chicken?

No, not at all. I find that a quick deep-fry seals in the chicken’s juices, making it perfect for topping a pizza. But poaching, then tossing with sauce would probably be just as effective.

How about simply laying raw, sauced chicken atop your crust?

I don’t advise it; it’s tricky to time it so the crust and chicken are done at the same time.

Next, the crust. I just love keeping a batch of ready-to-go no-knead pizza dough in the fridge, but use whatever crust you like best.

Three pounds of chicken will make 4 to 5 medium (12″) round pizzas; if you don’t want to make that many, simply serve any leftover cooked tenders with celery and blue cheese dressing, as an appetizer.

If you’re using refrigerated dough, scoop out a hunk. For a medium-crust pizza (about 1/2″ thick in the center, slightly thicker around the edge), use 12 ounces of dough. An 8-ounce piece of dough will make a thin-crust 12″ pizza; 18 ounces, a thicker-crust pizza.

Next, pat or roll the crust to fit the pan.

I’ve discovered something interesting: if I roll or pat the crust and immediately lay it on my olive oil-drizzled pan, it shrinks back vigorously (above left).

But if I roll the crust between two pieces of greased parchment, and leave it sandwiched in the parchment for 30 minutes after rolling, the gluten has a chance to relax.

The result? When I peel off the parchment and lay the crust on the pan (above right), no shrinking!

Unless you want a super-thin-crust pizza, let the dough rest on the pan (uncovered is fine) for 30 minutes (or longer, for a thicker crust). Towards the end of the rest, preheat your oven to 450°F.

Place the pizza in the oven. Check it after 5 minutes; it may have developed a giant bubble. If so, simply stick it with the tip of a knife, and gently pat the bubble down.

Bake the crust until it’s a light golden brown, about 15 minutes.

While the crust is baking, gather your toppings. For each pizza, I’m using about 1/4 to 1/5 of the chicken, which I’ve cut into bite-sized pieces; Gorgonzola cheese; chopped scallions, and one of my favorite pizza cheese combinations, mozzarella & provolone.

Remove the crust from the oven, and brush it with olive oil or garlic oil. Sprinkle with crumbled blue cheese, then some of the chicken, the diced scallions (I used 3 scallions for each pizza), and your favorite pizza cheese.

Return the pizza to the oven, and bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the toppings are warmed. Don’t over-bake! You want to keep the chicken moist, and the scallions somewhat crisp.

Also, you don’t want the cheese to become rubbery, as it’s wont to do when baked too long.

Serve immediately. Don’t want to miss Madonna! (Do you?)

For the meat-lovers in the group, serve additional tenders alongside, with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

Oh, my… you’re going to LOVE this pie!

Enjoy your Super Sunday. And may the best team win. (Go Pats! Sorry, couldn’t help myself…)

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Buffalo Chicken Pizza.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. waikikirie

    OMG PJ…..Your pizza recipes are the best. Can’t wait to try this one out. Finally got the new stove, two weeks later (long story…won’t bore ya!!) Will be putting together the no knead pizza dough soon. Now I just wish I had a reason to make so many…Thanks again….xoxoxx

    Glad you’ll be up and running soon… Enjoy the pizza – you can always freeze the chicken; that’s what I’ve done, and will thaw Thursday to treat my Web mates to lunch! PJH

    Reply
  2. tdh

    Thanks for this…since the Super Bowl is in my hometown this year, enjoying the Village, fireworks, etc. etc. will limit the cooking time available! What a great event…but I have to say I want a Manning to win the game :)

    Understandable, given the tough season you guys just had without “your” Manning! Enjoy the festivities- PJH

    Reply
  3. Rocky-cat

    I’m sure your pizza is delicious. After all, anything with Buffalo sauce has got to be. But really, do try using celery rather than, or in addition to, scallions. I always use celery on my Buffalo pizza and it comes out great. Also, to cut some time and calories (!), you can use shredded or chunked rotisserie chicken. I’m liking the garlic oil idea, though. I’ll have to try that next time.

    OK, Rocky, you talked me into celery! And speaking of rotisserie, you can also cut right to the chase and use Buffalo chicken tenders from the deli section… PJH

    Reply
  4. bobpetti

    The top of the blog mentioned baking the crust ahead of time? Would would be the best way to store the crust between first bake and final pizza assembly? Freezer? Wrapped in plastic wrap on counter? Thanks.
    If you will be storing for a longer period of time, the freezer is great. If only for a few days, you can wrap it and leave it at room temperature. ~Amy

    Reply
  5. mdeatherage

    Ooooh, close but not so close. AT&T Cotton Bowl, Discover Orange Bowl. Allstate Sugar Bowl was correct, and you left out the Tostitos! Fiesta Bowl and the Rose Bowl Presented by Vizio. (Kind of my bailiwick here, had to speak up.)

    The Insight Bowl will not be named such next year, as Insight.com has decided not to renew the contract. If it wasn’t in Arizona, this could be the King Arthur Flour Bowl! (It’s very well-run, according to inside sources.)

    Reply
  6. shaneandreafell

    This sounds great. I will have to try that no-knead pizza dough. One additional note. My husband and I grill our Buffalo Chicken Pizza. You start by placing the pizza dough on the grill brushed with olive oil and cook only one side. You take it off the grill and put all the toppings on the cooked side then you place it back on the grill to finish cooking and to melt the cheese. It is delicious with that grilled crust. One tip for those who really like buffalo hot sauce – try adding a layer of hot sauce just as you would a pizza sauce before you add the toppings – since buffalo hot sauce is really thin; I usually make a gel of cornstarch and water in the microwave and then add the gel to the hot sauce to get a thicker consistency which also keeps it from running all over the pizza. Thanks for the great recipes. Andrea

    Reply
  7. milkwithknives

    That does look wonderful! Believe it or not, I just tasted Frank’s hot sauce for the first time last weekend in the grocery store. Now I understand what all the talk is about, and I’ll bet it’s to die for on this pizza.

    Also, my husband and I always parbake our pizza crust on a 450 stone before doctoring it up. It gives the crust a chance to crisp up a bit so the sauce can’t make it all soggy, and then the cheese and toppings don’t burn with the shorter second bake. That was a great discovery, the parbaking, and our pizza is light years better since we started. I recommend it to everyone.

    Reply
  8. dcurnalia

    From someone with the Anchor bar down the street, if you can get the bottled Anchor bar wing sauce in your area, it is totally worthwhile as a sub for the Franks. Instead of just a small sprinkling of blue cheese (which would NOT go over big w my friends….we are hot sauce and blue cheese lovers!) I started using chunky blue cheese dressing mixed with some of the wing sauce and fresh chunks of gorgonzola as a base….. gives it a lot more blue cheese and hot sauce flavor (use just as you would tomato sauce…don’t swamp it in sauce, just enough to cover the dough)…..love the mozz/ provolone combo too. Cant wait to try your pizza dough recipe this weekend! Thanks for all your great recipes!

    Reply
  9. marbarre

    Just made this tonight. Did not par bake the crust…never do, even with my highly hydra dated no knead. Spread blue cheese dipping sauce on crust, followed by chicken ( frozen tenders, which I cooked according to package directions), tossed in Franks Buffalo Wing Sauce. Then I topped sparingly with crumbled blue cheese, scallions, shredded mozzarella…my husband a true meat/pizza lover declared it better than the pepperoni one I made for him….just in case.
    Thank you for the great inspiration from a true and long time fan of KA and PJ!

    So glad to hear the pizza was a success, marbarre – I made it again yesterday, for my Web teammates. The no-knead crust had been in the fridge for 9 days so was a bit chewy/dense, but no one complained! Glad your husband found something that’s right up there with pepperoni… And thank you for your kind words. :) PJH

    Reply
  10. "Cathie Rayes"

    There was actually a Salad Bowl, PJ. It was in Tempe, AZ (ASU). I don’t know how long they kept that name, but I’m pretty sure it was gone by the time I was a teenager. I remember I thought SURE my Dad was pulling my leg when he told me about it. Nowadays Tempe has the Fiesta Bowl.

    Reply
  11. Michelle

    Made this for our super bowl party and it was a MASSIVE hit! Granted, I adapted it myself kinda heavily, but I DID follow the chicken component to the letter and it came out PERFECTLY! My grocery store was running Frank’s Buffalo Sauce on special this week and it was ALL gone! But luckily, the neighboring Texas Pete’s Sauce was a great substitute! I made a pizza dough recipe off the back of a pizza dough yeast packet and used ranch dressing as a cool topper versus the blue cheese (which I don’t like) and it was the talk of the night! Thank you PJ, for making me popular yet again! Of course, I always give KAF the credit it deserves. :)

    Michelle, treating people to fresh, homemade treats is always so satisfying, isn’t it? I learned that way back in college, with my boxed brownie mix and dorm kitchen… Glad the pizza was a hit! PJH

    Reply
  12. mike

    Thanks for sharing the yummy recipe. I love to eat pizzas most.Among all the dishes chicken biryani is the famous one. Chicken Biryani is an immaculate blending of flavors. Don’t hesitate to include or subtract fixings depending what you like best, yet this is an incredible formula to work from. Fun and simple to make. You can utilize an expansive treat sheet or a couple medium pizza dish to cook on.

    Reply

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