- a match made in heaven -
The first time I had a barbecue pizza was in 2000. I was working downtown in Washington D.C. and living in Pentagon City with my husband in a beautiful high-rise apartment overlooking the Pentagon, and just below on the street, within walking distance, was THE RESTAURANT, The California Pizza Kitchen …OMG!
At that time I was flabbergasted at the unusual pizzas on the menu; some had fresh salad on top and even figs or avocados! Well, we very quickly made that restaurant one of our regular hangouts for dine-in and carry-out and the barbecue chicken pizza was my favorite. Of course, now you can get all varieties of their pizza nationwide, even in Texas.
And now a unique barbecue pizza is here in Kingwood. We have something new, exciting and locally created added to the menu at RC’S Pizza. RC’s motto, “Pizza With a New York Attitude,” is indeed New York pizza at its best.
Starting in El Paso, R.C. was working at Andre’s Pizza, a local pizza restaurant, and it wasn’t until 2001 that he had his first taste of Texas barbecue and was hooked. In 2003, he tasted a Texas barbecue pizza and addiction set in. R.C. acquired his N.Y. pizza attitude firsthand in Manhattan where he trained for several months to learn the uniqueness of the dough that makes the pizza. He took his training back to his first restaurant next to Peco’s Feed store in Porter, and then, in 2003, he opened his second location in Kingwood. His love for barbecue and barbecue pizza continued to haunt him. How could he make it work in Kingwood?
Fast forward to 2019 … This is when local pitmaster, Sloan Rinaldi, Texas Q founder and president (texasqonline.com), joins R.C. in the pizza-making business. Who better than a barbecue pitmaster to work with R.C. to create three barbecue pizzas that will have you begging for more? They are BBQ Smoked Pork-Belly Pizza, Smoked Prime Brisket Pizza, and Smoked BBQ Chicken Pizza. The chicken pizza is not only made with Texas Q Sweet Heat sauce, it has toppings of home-made pickled red onions, cilantro and jalapenos. Of course, you can add all the toppings you want to make your pizza uniquely yours. Talk about delicious. These three cuts of meat are pit-smoked, cooked and delivered to RC’s along with Texas Q’s Sweet Heat barbecue sauce.
The Kingwood location will have a soft menu offering through Feb. 27; after that the barbecue pizzas will be on the menu in all three of RC’s Pizza locations March 14. When you go, be sure to bring your own wine as this is a BYOW restaurant (rcspizza.com).
If you see me there enjoying a slice of barbecue pizza, “Please Join My Table.” But for now, check out my mock California Pizza Kitchen recipe. Maybe soon I will create my own barbecue pork-belly pizza recipe to share!
My Mock California Pizza Kitchen Barbecue Pizza
(Makes two 10-inch pizzas)
1 recipe of home-made or frozen pizza dough or 1 package of Trader Joes bread/pizza dough
2 tablespoons honey
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (I like Texas Q Sweet Heat)
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups crumbled Gouda cheese
1/3 small red onion, sliced into rings
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, no stems
Drizzle of honey (optional)
Let the dough defrost at room temperature. On a lightly floured surface, gently massage the honey into the dough, then shape the dough into a ball and put it in a well-oiled bowl. Cover with a damp, linen-like towel and let it rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1 1/2 hours). Thirty minutes before baking the pizzas, place pizza stones in the oven and preheat 500 degrees (check your owner’s manual to be sure your oven can tolerate this temperature). While the oven is preheating, add the olive oil to a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Carefully add the chicken and saute’ about 4 minutes. Remove from pan and place in a bowl with 2 1/2 tablespoons of barbecue sauce. On a lightly floured surface (I use a pizza paddle), punch the dough down and divide into 2 equal serving portions. Roll out each portion into a 10-inch circle. Spread 1/3 cup barbecue sauce over the surface of each of the dough circles. Spread 1/2 of the cheese over the sauce. Add 1/2 of the chicken over the cheese. Place half of the onion rings over the chicken pieces. Place the pizza in the oven on top of pizza stones. Bake until crust is crispy and cheese is bubbling (8-10 minutes). Remove pizzas from the oven and sprinkle each with 1/2 of the cilantro and a drizzle of honey.