It also means the arrival of comfort food season! The cozy, simple kind of food that pairs perfectly with the game and a good beer.
To toast the start of the new football season, I tried this recipe which combines two of my favorite things - pizza and wings. It was only my second time grilling pizza but I really like the outcome. The crust gets toasty and firm which makes it perfect for a pizza like this one, which is loaded with toppings. [Side note: below are alternate instructions for making this pizza in an oven, in case grilling isn't an option for you]
Because I made this on a Friday night and I was in full-on lazy mode, I used a rotisserie chicken. Next time, I'll probably go to the trouble of baking some chicken breasts to keep it a bit healthier. I would also add a bit more celery because I love the crunch. And I'd toss in a few banana peppers because I love them and I think all the flavors would work well together.
The pizza was delicious. Just the right amount of buffalo wing spiciness to go with the creaminess of the blue cheese. This would be great for dinner, especially as a precursor to some Monday Night Football! But it would also be just as delicious cut into small pieces and served as an appetizer.
Buffalo Chicken Pizza
1 12" Boboli® Original Pizza Crust (I used whole wheat)
4 tbsp. butter, melted
1/4 c. hot cayenne pepper sauce (NOT hot sauce, but hot wing sauce)
2 c. chicken, cooked and diced
1/2 c. celery, chopped
1 c. crumbled blue cheese
1 tsp. chives
Preheat the grill for 10 – 15 minutes on medium-high heat. If you have a gas grill, turn off one of the burners. If you use charcoal, push charcoal to one side.
In a medium bowl, combine the butter and hot sauce and mix well. Add the chicken and celery, toss to coat well.
Brush a tiny bit of olive oil (or melted butter) on each side of your pizza crust. Place the crust on the side of the grill with the burner turned off or without the charcoal. Grill the crust 2 – 4 minutes per side.
Remove from grill and spread the chicken and celery mixture evenly over the pizza crust. Sprinkle with blue cheese and return to the grill for 8 – 10 minutes. Grill until the cheese melts a bit and the crust is golden. Remove from heat, let cool for 2 minutes, and enjoy!
If you're baking it in the oven...
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the butter and hot sauce and mix well. Add the chicken and celery, toss to coat well. Spread the chicken and celery mixture evenly over the pizza crust. Sprinkle with blue cheese and bake for 10-12 minutes or until the crust gets crispy and it's heated through.