Kentucky Bourbon BBQ Chicken and Beer Cheese Pizza

Last week we attended the Olympics of Pizza, the Bluegrass Pizza Bakeoff where individuals and businesses competed on traditional and non-tradtional syles of pizza trying to win a spot in the pizza olympics in Italy. This inspired me to make my own version of a non-traditional pizza.

There are already places in Lexington that do a pizza that is representative of Kentucky: The Hot Brown Pizza. You can find this at Saul Good or The Grey Goose. I still wanted to do a Kentucky inspired pizza, so I thought about those things that are unique to Kentucky. Of course, I thought about tobacco, coal, and horses, but those things would not be very appetizing on a pizza.  =)

Bourbon? Beer cheese? Now these are ingredients I can get down with for this challenge. Because this was a different kind of challenge focused on creativity and not timing or surprise ingredients, these cooking directions will look a little different than my posts about mystery ingredient challenges.

First, before I left for work, I put chicken tenders into the crockpot and let them cook on low. This makes them super tender and easy to shred. 

When I came home, I started the homemade pizza sauce. I sauteed a finely chopped half an onion, Kentucky grown tomatoes (thanks mom and dad!), 2 garlic cloves, and a half teaspoon of oregano in olive oil. I let this simmer for about 20 minutes while I worked on other ingredients.

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I shredded the chicken and tossed it in about one cup of bourbon barbeque sauce. This is not my own recipe, but it is made from scratch. I used Four Roses bourbon because that is what we had on hand.We had it leftover from a wings dinner with friends, and if you’ve been following my blogs, you already know how I feel about repurposing leftovers.

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I did cheat a little and buy a refrigerated pizza crust. Had I made this on a weekend I may have made a pizza crust from scratch when I had time for the dough to rise. I used a new artisan whole wheat crust by Pillsbury.

After rolling out the crust, I pre-baked it for about 6 minutes. Then, I spread Kentucky beer cheese over the entire crust. Someday, I’ll make it to the Beer Cheese Festival.

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I used my new purple immersion blender to blend the pizza sauce to a smooth consistency.

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Last, spread the pizza sauce on top of the beer cheese, added the bourbon BBQ sauce chicken, green peppers, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese. I popped this into the oven until the crust edges were golden brown, which took about another 8 minutes.

This is my non-traditional Bourbon Chicken and Beer Cheese Pizza!

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