Taos chicken pizza

One of the hubby’s favorite foods used to be the Taos pizza served at Old Chicago, until it was removed from the menu a few years ago. The pizza was named after the city in New Mexico, a state famous for its green chile peppers, and the pizza definitely had southwestern flair.

I recently got a craving for this pizza when I was picking cilantro in my herb garden and decided to try re-creating it for the hubby.

The key components to this pizza are chicken, which you want lightly seasoned, chile peppers (on the mild side) and the star of the show, black bean sauce. You can use these with any kind of crust, whether traditional oven-baked or – my personal favorite – grilled (also the easiest method).

When you’re grilling pizza, it’s important to have all your toppings prepared and ready at hand, because the process moves quickly.

The hubby and I combined forces; I made the dough ahead of time (the recipe will be posted at hillsborobanner.com). The hubby grilled the chicken – seasoned with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning – and roasted the peppers over the grill, while I made the black bean sauce, cut the cheese (always my job) and chopped the tomatoes and cilantro. After the chicken and peppers cooled, we sliced the chicken and then peeled the charred skin from the peppers, removed the seeds and chopped them.

The pizza was phenomenal – even better than the original. We made two medium pizzas and had no leftovers.

I love cooking for my dad, especially on Father’s Day, but he’s pretty busy this time of year cooking for everyone else at the local softball and baseball games. So if I can’t cook for the one best dad in the world, I’ll cook for the other – my kiddo’s dad.

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Bonus recipe: Dough for grilled pizza

Servings: 2 medium pizzas

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Olive oil, for coating the bowl and brushing the dough

1. Put yeast and sugar in mixing bowl. Add water and let sit 15 minutes. Add salt and olive oil. Start mixer on low with dough hook attached, if available, and gradually add flour. Turn mixer to medium for 5 minutes. Check dough. If it’s still pretty sticky, add a tablespoon or two of flour and mix thoroughly.

2. Remove dough from bowl and knead by hand a few times. Form a ball and place in a bowl coated with olive oil, and then flip dough over. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place. Let rise 1 hour.

3. Cut dough in half and form each into a ball. Return to bowl, cover and let sit 15 minutes.