NFL playoffs have got me in a tailgate kind of mood. This week, as I was making my menu, I was anticipating the scrumptious foods of Super Bowl Sunday, but I couldn’t decide between buffalo chicken wings or pizza. They both sound delicious. I decided to mash them together and make a Buffalo Chicken Pizza.
It’s got all the flavors and textures of buffalo chicken wings, but on a warm crusty pizza. What’s not to love?
The base for this gridiron gem is a rich and creamy, ranch-infused white sauce. That’s topped with buffalo chicken that’s spicy and hot. And then the cheese — there has to be lots of gooey mozzarella and piquant blue cheeses. After the pizza bakes, we sprinkle it with green onion and diced celery for crunch. Then we finish with diced avocado that’s creamy, refreshing and cool. This is ridiculously good!
I’m all about finding frugal substitutions for expensive ingredients, hence the cottage cheese in this recipe. Cottage cheese makes a great low-cost substitute for ricotta cheese. Once its pureed, it’s creamy and fluffy with a texture very much like ricotta. I promise no one will suspect you’re sneaking cottage cheese into the recipe. Side note: This cottage cheese and ranch mixture makes a wonderful dip for veggies and chips, so you might want to make extra.
BUFFALO CHICKEN PIZZA
Yield: 12 slices
Time: 1 hour
What You’ll Need:
16 ounces pizza dough, purchased or homemade
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup buffalo hot sauce (like Frank’s Red Hot)
2 to 3 cups diced, cooked chicken
1 1/2 cups cottage cheese
3/4 cup ranch dressing
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 small purple onion, cut in rounds
1/3 cup blue cheese – crumbled
1/4 cup celery with leaves, chopped
1/4 cup green onion, sliced
1/4 cup avocado, diced
Preheat oven to 425 F. Allow the pizza dough to come to room temperature. Melt butter and place in a medium bowl, add hot sauce and stir. Set about 2 tablespoons aside to drizzle over the pizza when it’s cooked. Toss the chicken in the sauce, set aside. (You can sneak a bite, I won’t tell.)
In a food processor or blender, puree the cottage cheese with the ranch dressing, salt and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella until smooth. Get a spoon and taste this! It’s so yummy.
Brush a 10-inch-by-15-inch sheet pan with olive oil to help brown the bottom crust. Stretch the pizza dough to fit the pan. It doesn’t need to be perfect, but try to get it uniformly thin, so it’ll bake evenly.
Spread the cottage cheese mixture evenly over the dough leaving a 1-inch border around the edges. Distribute the chicken, making sure each slice gets an equal amount. Add the onion rounds artistically, and sprinkle with the rest of the mozzarella. Finally, dot the whole thing with blue cheese crumbles.
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let the pizza cool for a few minutes then sprinkle the top with the green onion, celery and avocado. Summon your inner Jackson Pollack and drizzle with reserved hot sauce. Slice, serve and take a bow!
This recipe can be adjusted to suit your taste. Don’t like blue cheese? Skip it! Love hot sauce? Use more. Vegetarian? Swap cubed tofu for the chicken.
You can enjoy this recipe even if you’re not watching the big game. Or only watching the commercials and half time between feeding the masses, like me. But if you’re watching the game, I hope your team wins. See you next week!
Lifestyle expert Patti Diamond is the penny-pinching, party-planning, recipe developer and content creator of the website “Divas On A Dime — Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous!” Visit Patti at www.divasonadime.com and join the conversation on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Email Patti at email@example.com
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