I’ve always wanted to try pizza in a cast iron skillet. Why, you ask? It’s the most versatile pan in the kitchen world so why not push the limits and see what it can do? For skillet BBQ chicken pizza, I used a monster 15 inch Lodge cast iron skillet.
I’m a big homemade pizza guy, and I’ll be honest, I swear by my pizza stone. However, the cast iron skillet delivers different, but equally delicious results. As an aside, I think the pizza stone gets a bad rap. I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read where people try to tell me I’m crazy for using a pizza stone, or that I don’t need them. I will tell you there are several great ways to make pizza—a pizza stone being one of them.
I think the big difference when making pizza in a cast iron skillet is the crust. A pizza stone is preheated in the oven at 500 degrees giving you a very hot surface to cook your pie on. Much like a hot brick oven, it cooks the crust very quickly, giving you crispier results.
Cast iron on the other hand starts out room temperature, cooking the crust more slowly, giving you fluffier, softer crust. I think it’s a matter of preference. Both fantastic, just different. Cast iron is going to quickly heat up and retain heat much better than a standard baking sheet. I think this eliminates any chances of soggy pizza. If you’re making deep dish pizza, than there is no better tool than your cast iron skillet.
My BBQ chicken pizza consists of grilled chicken, BBQ sauce, caramelized red onions, and cheese. My personal twist is freshly grated sharp cheddar and pepper jack cheese. A slight deviation from your typical mozzarella cheese. It delivers slightly sharper flavors with a very mild zip. That cheese combo paired with chicken and caramelized onions is out of this world.
I swear by caramelizing the onions. This consists of lightly sautéing the onions in a little butter before topping your pizza. It’s easy to do and it brings out the onion’s natural sugars and flavors. After all, this is gourmet pizza (and I think it makes a big difference).
- 18-20 ounces pizza dough
- 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized cubes
- ⅓ cup BBQ sauce
- 1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced and caramelized
- 2 tablespoons butter, for caramelizing onions
- Oregano for crust (optional)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 500° F.
- Meanwhile, roll out the dough into a 12 inch crust and set aside.
- In your 15 inch cast iron skillet on medium-low heat, caramelize the onions by lightly sautéing with butter, flipping occasionally. Cook until golden brown and soft, about 5 minutes.
- Remove onions from the skillet and set aside. Turn up the heat to medium-high and sauté the chicken in the cast iron skillet until fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, remove, and set aside.
- Quickly rinse the skillet in cool water and wipe dry with a paper towel, spray the inside evenly with cooking spray and set aside.
- Transfer the dough to the skillet, leaving crust ½ an inch up the sides of the skillet. Sprinkle with oregano if desired. Evenly layer BBQ sauce and top with chicken, caramelized onions, and cheese. Bake for about 10 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is fully melted. Remove from the oven, let cool, and serve.
Adapted from: Allrecipes.com