I love me some CPK! Their traditional and non-traditional pizzas are super yummy. I’ve tried different recipes that were supposed to mimic CPK’s classic BBQ Chicken Pizza and they all fell short in one way or another, but not this recipe! It’s 100% legit and the best copycat recipe out there.
Cook’s Note: This recipe uses an overnight pizza dough, so be sure to plan ahead!
California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza
FOR THE DOUGH:
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon warm water (at about 110˚F)
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
Dissolve the yeast in the water and let it sit for 10 minutes to proof. (If you’re using instant yeast dissolve it in the water and you can skip proofing it for the 10 minutes).
In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients and create a little well in the middle. Pour the yeast mixture and the olive oil into the well and stir with either your fingers or a wooden spoon.
Once a lumpy dough forms lightly oil your hands and start to knead the ball. Knead it for at least 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth but slightly tacky.
Lightly coat the ball in olive oil and place in an airtight container, allow it to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
*You can use the dough at this point, but for a finer texture and a nice, mellow sort of tang do the following: Deflate the dough, bunch it back up into a ball, put it back into the container, and stow it in your refrigerator overnight.
About 2 hours before you’re going to make your pizza remove the dough from the refrigerator, deflate again. Roll into a ball, sealing any cracks as tightly as possible. Place dough ball in a shallow dish and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for the aforementioned 2 hours.
Position racks in the upper third and middle of the oven. Place a pizza stone or inverted baking sheet on the top rack and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F for at least 30 minutes.
After the dough has risen for 2 hours, follow the directions below.
FOR THE PIZZA:
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark barbecue sauce
1 8-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2/3 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese (about 3 ounces)
2/3 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces)
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
Fresh cilantro, for topping
Lay out a sheet of parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Transfer the ball of dough to the parchment and roll it out into a 10-inch round, stretching it with your hands as needed. Lightly brush the dough with olive oil, cover with another piece of parchment and set aside to let rise slightly, about 30 minutes.
While the dough rises, mix 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce and 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small bowl. Put the chicken in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper and brush with the barbecue sauce mixture. Bake on the middle oven rack until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Let cool, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes.
Uncover the dough and spread with the remaining 1/3 cup barbecue sauce, leaving a 3/4-inch border. Top with the chicken, Gouda, mozzarella and red onion. Slide the pizza (on the parchment) onto a pizza peel or another inverted baking sheet, then slide onto the hot stone or baking sheet; bake until the cheese melts and the crust is golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro.
Makes 1, 10-inch pizza