Tuesday, February 10, 2009

CPK - my third food love

Most of you are aware by now of my obsession with chocolate chip cookie dough and cold stone ice cream.  However, you may not be aware of my other food obsession... California Pizza Kitchen.  It is my all time favorite restaurant.  We do not have one where we live (thank goodness or else I would be large and broke) so whenever we are visiting a town that happens to have one I always try to get there for one if not two meals.

I suppose by saying my favorite restaurant is a pizza place I have just revealed how easily pleased I am.  But before you go judging me, try the place.

So, to get to the point of this post... I found the CPK BBQ Chicken Pizza recipe while killing time Saturday night.  I can not even begin to explain how excited I was!  I made it for Sunday dinner and the result was A-MAZ-ING.  I have posted the recipe so that you too can enjoy a little piece of heaven.

CPK's Famous Barbecue Chicken Pizza

barbecue chicken:
10 ounces chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, cut into ¾-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons sweet and spicy bbq sauce

basic pizza dough recipe (see below)
cornmeal, semolina or flour for handling
½ cup sweet and spicy bbq sauce
2 tablespoons smoked gouda cheese, shredded (I didn't have this so I skipped it)
2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese, shredded
¼ small red onion, sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a large frying pan, cook the chicken in olive oil over medium-high heat until just cooked, 5 to 6 minutes. Do not overcook. Set aside in the refrigerator until chilled through. Once chilled, coat the chicken with 2 tablespoons BBQ sauce; set aside in the refrigerator.
2. Place the pizza stone in the center of the oven and preheat to 500°F for one hour before cooking pizzas. (See below for directions for handling and forming the dough).
3. Use a large spoon to spread ¼ cup BBQ sauce evenly over the surface of the prepared dough within the rim. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon smoked Gouda cheese over the sauce. Cover with ¾ cup shredded mozzarella.
4. Distribute half the chicken pieces evenly over the cheese (approximately 18 pieces). Place approximately 18 to 20 pieces of red onion over the surface. Sprinkle and additional ¼ cup mozzarella over the top of the pizza.
5. Transfer the pizza to the oven; bake until the crust is crisp and golden and the cheese at the center is bubbly, 8 to 10 minutes. When the pizza is

cooked, carefully remove it from the oven; sprinkle 1 tablespoon cilantro over the hot surface. Slice and serve.

cpk basic pizza dough (makes dough for two 9” pizzas)
1 teaspoon yeast
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water (105-110 degrees F)
1 ½ cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons sugar (I used 1/2 tablespoon of honey)
1 teaspoon salt
4 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. Be sure that the water is not hot; temperatures of 120° F and above will kill the yeast and the dough will not rise.
2. If using an upright electric mixer, such as a KitchenAid, use the mixing paddle attachment because the batch size is too small for the dough hook

to be effective. Combine all other ingredients (except one teaspoon of olive oil) and combine them with the dissolved yeast in the mixing bowl. (Do not pour the salt directly into the yeast water because this would kill some of the yeast.) Allow these 2 ingredients to mix gradually; use the lowest 2 speeds to mix the dough. Mix for 2 to 3 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Over mixing will produce tough, rubbery dough, and friction will cause dough to rise too fast.
3. If mixing by hand, place the dry ingredients in a 4 to 6-quart mixing bowl; make a well in the middle and pour the liquids (reserving a teaspoon of olive oil). Use a wooden spoon to combine the ingredients. Once initial mixing is done, you can lightly oil your hands and begin kneading the dough; knead for 5 minutes. When done, the dough should be slightly tacky (that is, it should be barely beyond sticking to your hands).
4. Lightly oil the dough ball and the interior of a 1 quart glass bowl. Place the dough ball in the bowl and seal the bowl with clear food wrap; seal air tight. Set aside at room temperature (70-80° F) to rise until double in size; about 1 ½ to 2 hours.
5. About 2 hours before you are ready to assemble your pizza, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 2 equal portions (or 4 equal portions if making appetizer-sized pizza or if smaller 6-inch pizzas are desired).
6. Roll the smaller dough into round balls on a smooth, clean surface; be sure to seal any holes by pinching or rolling.
8. Place the newly formed dough balls in a glass casserole dish, spaced far apart for each to double in size. Seal the top of the dish air-tight with clear food wrap. Set aside at room temperature until the dough balls have doubled in size (about 2 hours). They should be smooth and puffy.

Yum!!  It's so good.  I hope you enjoy!


  1. Yum! I have never hat that one. We are boring and always share a salad. (But, in all seriousness, the salads there are amazing.) I will definitely try this recipe!

  2. I love this place too. Over the last two years I have experimented with my own recipes and have mastered the Club Pizza. It is our favorite, we seriously make it once a week. The BBQ pizza is so good too. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  3. Mmmm...fortunately (or unfortunately) we have a few CPK's in Denver. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  4. I am very happy that I found this site.

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