Chef Ilona joins ADL corporate chef Mike Eyolfson to prepare barbecue chicken pizza with fresh basil and spiced honey
Warm days are here and we need to spend as much time outside soaking it all in while we can.
Cooking food up on a grill is probably one of the most deliciously, primal ways to prepare a meal. Grilling up burgers, chops and hot dogs are always at the top of the ingredient list for al fresco dining, but I’m all about pizza on the barbecue. ADL corporate chef Mike Eyolfson is also a big fan.
Watch Ilona Daniel and Mike Eyolfson grill a pizza on the barbecue at ADL’s Reads Corner facility in Summerside.
What I like about cooking pizza/flatbreads on the grill is that they are lighter and often a touch crispier than the traditional oven cooked counterparts. This is nice because I don’t want something heavy and doughy when the mercury rises.
Chef Mike’s recipe uses pita bread, but you can use gluten free pitas, naan bread or Greek pitas instead. Having the pizza bases already cooked means you can have a meal faster than it takes for delivery to get to your door. These flatbreads are a great way to use up leftovers or to stretch your grocery budget; 2 chicken breasts can easily make up to 6 pita pizzas.
When cooking the pita pizzas, it’s important to use indirect heat. Indirect heat is when you only have one side of the barbecue on, while the other side of the grill is off. You’ll want to cook your pizzas on the side that has the heat off. Preparing the pizzas successfully will require you to practice patience. It’s important that once you put the pizzas onto the grilling surface, you must keep the lid down for 2 minutes. If you keep opening and closing the lid, you will end up with a rock-hard pita and cheese that has only begun to melt. This, frankly, is the worst outcome for any pizza. If you like your pizza slightly crispier. I suggest using your top grate. This will take care of crisping up the bottom in no time.
These pizzas are best enjoyed as soon as they come off of the grill. Lastly, if you want to make preparation work light, bring a tray with bowls filled with the toppings out to the deck for your diners to build their own; it’s always more fun when everyone gets to play with their food.
BBQ Chicken Pizza w/Fresh Basil and Spiced Honey
Created by: Chef Mike Eyolfson
1 pkg 7-inch pita bread
2 cups cooked chicken- cut in thin strips (2 boneless skinless chicken breast, butterflied, brushed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and baked for 25 minutes at 350 F)
5 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion - thinly sliced
1 cup of your favourite barbecue sauce
2 cups Dairy Isle Mozzarella
½ cup fresh basil - torn
1 pint of grape tomatoes – halved
½ cup honey
½ teaspoon dried chili flakes
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
Heat the honey in a heavy bottom sauce pan with the chili flakes and grated ginger. Bring to a simmer and set aside to cool
Pre-heat barbeque (or oven) to 375-400 F.
Spread barbecue sauce over each pita bread
Top with Dairy Isle Mozzarella Cheese, shredded, sprinkle a few onion slices and grape tomato halves evenly over crust then top with chicken and a bit more cheese.
Place pizza directly on the barbecue grill (or a baking sheet in the oven) and cook for 5-7 minutes or until cheese begins to brown. Remove from grill or oven and garnish with torn basil and drizzle with spiced honey.
Chef Ilona Daniel's food column, Food Seductress, runs on the last Thursday of each month. She welcomes comments from readers by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter: Twitter.com/chef_ilona.