Chicken Enchilada Pizza.

Mark this day down in history…

… as the first time I worked with a jalapeño and didn’t immediately and stupidly shove my fingers in my eyeballs. Well, okay – not THIS day, as in today. As in Monday. But the day that I made this pizza. Maybe I’m slowly learning? Yes. Let’s hope.

I went back and forth on whether I was making a taco or an enchilada pizza. I was first settled on taco, but then once I added some enchilada sauce I decided it had to be the latter by default ingredients. But then the whole lettuce and tomatoes on top thing? Seemed too taco-ish. But then (again) once I took a bite, it’s fate was sealed: enchilada. Tastes like a big, fat chicken enchilada. Even sort of looks like an enchilada in one of those pics down below.

Enchilada pizza it was.

Was that too much information? Probs.

As much as I’ve disgraced nearly every traditional dish known to man with mexican and tex-mex flavors, I had yet to truly dabble in mexican pizzas. The reason being that in elementary school I’m pretty sure there was mexican pizza on the lunch menu and it was so wretched that it scarred me for life. I don’t even remember what it was exactly – definitely not a pizza crust? – but it just had some spices and grease that turned the whole thing orange and maybe cheese. And that was IT. oomph. I hope we’ve come a long way since then.

Oh wait, don’t worry. We probably have considering that was TWENTY YEARS AGO. What? I want to cry. How is that possible? I hate being able to say that I was doing anything twenty years ago besides being 1. a mere blip on the radar or 2. in the womb. Will I ever get over this? I mean, I still paint my nails like a ten year old so I don’t have that much hope.

Pretty much the only thing I do now that I didn’t do twenty years ago is cook semi-interesting meals all by myself. It’s one of my only adult-qualifying characteristics.

Side note: look at how sort of boring (because that makes sense…) this pizza is below without all the fun stuff that goes on after baking. Moral of the story: lots of trashy toppings MAKE meals.

We wolfed down (is that still a verb or am I way too stuck in the 90s?) this pizza like there was no tomorrow. That says a lot for my husband, since he only likes his pizza, and I quote, “regular.” As in, not piled with a bunch of weird toppings. As in, nothing else other than sauce, cheese and pepperoni. Sometimes sausage.  Sometimes bacon!

That makes me happy.

But as always, my stance on untraditional pizza is this: it’s an awesome way to switch up your weekly menu, but if you want pizza, sometimes you just need to get “regular” pizza. In this case, that means you should eat pizza twice in one week. Regular pizza and this pizza. Oh and yes, of course you can use a store-bought crust or an easier crust or a whatever-the-heck crust. I love making your life easier.

LOOK AT THIS.


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Chicken Enchilada Pizza

Yield: makes 1 pizza

Prep Time: 2 hours (includes letting dough rise)

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

dough
1 1/8 cups warm water
3 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 jalapeño, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4 ounce) can of diced green chiles
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup of enchilada sauce (I use store bought! oh yes I do)
6 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
6 ounces monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
1 cup of grape tomatoes, quarted
1 cup of shredded lettuce
1 avocado, thinly sliced
sour cream or greek yogurt for topping

Directions:

dough
In a large bowl, combine water, yeast, honey and olive oil. Mix with a spoon, then let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add in 2 1/2 cups flour and salt, stirring with a spoon until the dough comes together but it still sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and work in the additional 1/2 cup flour, kneading it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Rub the same bowl with olive oil then place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place to rise for about 1-1 1/2 hours.

After the dough has risen, punch it down and place it back on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin or your hands, form it into your desired shape (sometimes I use baking sheets and do rectangles or free form pizzas - this specific dough will yield one pizza large enough to feed about 3-4 people) and place on a baking sheet or pizza peel. Place the towel back over the dough and let sit in the warm place for 10 minutes.

pizza
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. (I actually used a pizza stone and heated my oven to 450 degrees, and baked for 15 minutes. If you're just using a baking sheet, follow the directions below for baking and set to 375 degrees.)

Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat and add olive oil. Add in onions, garlic and peppers with a pinch of salt and stir well. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Toss in shredded chicken with green chiles, cumin, paprika and chili powder. Stir to coat well and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn off heat.

Spread a a thin layer - about 1/2 cup - of enchilada sauce all over the pizza dough. Cover in a small sprinkle of cheese, then top with the chicken and pepper mixture. Add remaining cheese on top evenly. Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, until cheese and crust is golden and bubbly. Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes, then top with lettuce, tomatoes and avocado. Serve with an extra drizzle of enchilada sauce and sour cream or greek yogurt.

[pizza crust adapted from my garlic bread pizza crust]

I highly suggest the sour cream. Highly.