Monday, March 29, 2010

Game Night Pizza!

While the spring season may have officially sprung, it appears as though it is simply teasing us.  This weekend was cold and gray!  Saturday had me searching through my storage pile for a sweater and cursing that I'd packed up my scarves.  Needless to say, staying indoors playing games and watching funny movies became the theme of the weekend. 

Allow me a moment of gloating: We're playing Trivial Pursuit and I am behind by 3 pies (first thought- I'm toast!).  Ladd came out of the gates ready to play (it didn't hurt that he got the easiest pie questions).  But I managed to pull through and out- scored Ladd by ONE pie in the end.  Woohoo! Champion! Sadly, though, I got my ass kicked in four games of Cribbage.  Each and every one was neck-and-neck but I never seemed to pull off a win.  (sigh)

What goes better with movies and games?  Pizza!  Don't be frightened, though.  I did not order Pizza Hut this time (phew!).  In fact, this pizza was pure snazz all the way.  Slow cooker BBQ chicken, homemade onion marmalade, and crimini mushrooms.  The best part of all?  I didn't spend a dime on making this!  I was poking through the meat cases looking for chicken thighs and a lady approached me asking if I would be willing to take a survey from Purdue Chicken.  I am an EASY TARGET and have a real challenge saying no.  Seriously, there were three other people right near me and she chose me.  But she had a friendly look and I had to imagine that plenty of people turned her down over and over again.  What did I get for being such a push over?  A gift card to Harris Teeter (our grocery store).  Plus- if I answer a few more questions in a week when they call me, I get another gift card for twice as much.  It's like Christmas in March!  However, these kinds of "lucky" situations don't always turn out so good.  Just a month ago I was wooed by an internet ad that offered FREE UGGS (yes, I'd had too much wine).  Two clicks and we were inundated with telemarketing calls for weeks.  Eventually I had to learn to say: please leave us alone.  I just wanted free Uggs! (They were pink... so cute).  I never got the boots, but I got plenty of heavy sighs and cranky looks from my  husband every time the phone rang (and rang, and rang). 

While you may not be as lucky as I was when buying your ingredients, this is truly a budget friendly and flavorful meal.  I buy the refrigerated dough balls in the deli for less than $2.  Chicken thighs are almost always cheaper than breast meat and cook up so nicely in the slow cooker (had I bought them, they would have been under $3 for a little more than a pound).  All together I would have paid less than $15 for this meal.  That's a steal!  It made enough for my husband and I to have dinner and lunch for today. 

There are a couple steps that need to be completed before you're ready to assemble your pizza.

First and foremost, the chicken needs to be slow cooked.  I tossed my package of thighs in the cooker with about 1/4 cup of broth and 1/8 cup of red wine vinegar.  It cooked at 250 degrees for just under 4 hours.  When it's done, it should very easily shred with a fork.  For convenience, I used a bottled BBQ sauce.  I only added about 1/4 cup- just until the chicken was covered. 

While that's cooking, get started on your red onion marmalade.
  • 2 red onions, peeled and cut in half, then sliced thinly
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • couple bay leaves
Add the olive oil to a saute pan and toss in your thinly sliced onions.  Keep on LOW heat for about 15 minutes.  Your onions should begin "wilting" a bit and looking more translucent.  Add the garlic and bay leaves.  Cook about 5 minutes more.  Stir in the vinegar and brown sugar and continue cooking on low for an additional 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes.  If the onions look too dry during that time, add a splash more of vinegar.  Allow the onion mixture to cool and place it in an air tight container in the fridge until you're ready to use it.

To complete the meal...
  • Get your dough ready (whether it's fresh or a Boboli already made pie).  I can never roll out a circular shape.  It's always a lopsided rectangle or parallelogram.  I'm "circle challenged" I guess. 
  • Add 2 tablespoons of red sauce mixed with an equal amount of BBQ sauce and, using the back of a spoon, spread it over your dough leaving about a one inch border.
  • Spread your chicken mixture, onion marmalade and sliced mushrooms all over the pizza.
  • Cover with shredded mozzarella (we used almost a whole bag which is 2 cups). 
  • Place your pizza into a preheated 425 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. 
  • Here's the surprise ingredient: BLUE CHEESE!  Add some crumbles over the top of your cooked pizza and let it melt for a couple minutes before serving.  The sweetness of the other ingredients pair perfectly with the blue cheese. 
Another fantastic thing about this meal, especially if you're on a budget, is that not only does it afford leftovers, but you'll have extra chicken and onion marmalade left over.  Later in the week we're planning to have BBQ chicken sandwiches on toasted buns with melted cheese, topped with the onions.  A cold broccoli and blue cheese salad will pair very nicely with it. 

What's your favorite pizza topping?  We're always looking for new combinations to try on our next rainy day!


Noelle said...

The onions recipe sounded soooo scrumptious!

Lazaro Cooks! said...

Love your idea for the pizza. Saw you on food buzz. Look forward to following you here and talking food with you. I make a veggie pizza where the sauce is actually a wonderful cauliflower puree and I top it with leeks, red bell peppers, and shiitake mushrooms. It's a hit everytime. Hava a great day!

5 Star Foodie said...

Awesome pizza and I love the idea of the red onion marmalade, awesome!

Mrs. G said...

chourico and pineapple is our absolute favorite...
Mrs. G as in Gilfillan not

Madhura Manoj said...

You are having a yummy blog...

Velva said...

You are right this pizza is perfect for a weekend game night-delicious. Thanks for sharing.

btw, Cheers to you on winning Trivial Pursuit.

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