A last hurrah to mark the end of summer– happy-hour-approved chicken flatbread pizza.
As I write this blog entry, I’m sitting by the window listening to the symphony of raindrops hitting the sill. There is something soothing about the pitter-patter— it is however, a reminder thatsummer came and left. While I love Fall, it’s a bitter sweet feeling knowing that I have to put the tarp over my BBQ, say goodbye to the flip-flops, and start cranking the heat on my morning drives to work.
What I’ll miss most about the summer is travelling to cottage country. In the summer, I frequent my boyfriend’s cottage—for a few weekends out of the year, it gets me away from hustle of the city. It is the only place where the worries are few; the greates being if you remember to douse enough suntan lotion to guard you from a sunburn, or whether the food is stowed far enough so the dog can’t reach.
Oh, it is fabulous—but of course, with the end of summer, so comes the end of cottage visits.
This is was one of the last happy hour snacks we made this year:
Chicken Flatbread Pizza
(makes 2 x 12” flat bread pizzas; serves 8)
Naan Flat Bread
- 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- ¼ cup oil (for bowl)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
*You can always use a ready-made flat bread from the grocer; if you chose to do so, skip to step # 5
This list is all optional. Add the toppings you want, omit the ones you don’t want!
- 1 ½ cups caramelized onions
- 2 cups red peppers, washed and diced
- 2 cups shredded cheese, preferably mozzarella (we only had cheddar on hand)
- 2 cups chicken, seasoned and grilled
- 1 ½ cups mushrooms
- ½ cup black olives, sliced
- ¼ cup sundried tomatoes
- ½ cup pizza sauce (optional)
[For the Naan]
1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand about 10 minutes, until frothy. Stir in sugar, milk, egg, salt, and enough flour to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface until the dough comes together and it is smooth. Place dough in a well-oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and set aside to rise. Let it rise 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
If your dough doesn’t double, your yeast could be inactive (either expired, or exposed to harsh conditions). You’ll have to start again, or else your dough won’t rise and it will be chewy and tough.
2. Punch down dough, and divide into two parts. Roll into balls, and place on a tray. Cover with a towel, and allow to rise until doubled in size again; about 30 minutes.
3. During the second rising, preheat your BBQ or grill to high. At grill side, roll one ball of dough into a rectangle—roll to about 1/4” thick. Lightly oil the grill. Place dough on grill, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until puffy and lightly browned.
4. Brush uncooked side with butter, and turn over. Brush cooked side with butter, and cook until browned, another 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from grill, and repeat for the second rounded dough.
Preparing the pizza:
5. Pre-heat (or reduce) BBQ setting to medium. If you used store bought flat bread, brush both sides lightly with melted butter. If you are using pizza sauce, ladle it onto your flat bread, and place the desired toppings. Finish the pizza off with the cheese– it helps to hold everything in place once it melts.
6. Once your pizza is topped with desired ingredients, return to BBQ and cook on medium heat until the cheese has melted (approx 8 minutes). At the four-minute mark, you’ll want to rotate your flat bread to make sure it doesn’t stick.
7. Let sit for 2 minutes, slice, and enjoy. (Loon plates mandatory!)