It’s been awhile since I posted a recipe, but this was an inspired idea (I’m absolutely positive it’s been done, so I don’t claim to be original). We made this pizza tonight and it was delicious and satisfying. It was easy, too, since we had all the parts ready to go yesterday. If you haven’t made muhammara, you really should. It’s one of my favorite dips.
Chicken Shawarma Pizza
Shawarma marinated chicken (see below)
Muhammara (see below)
Pomegranate molasses (for muhammara and topping the pizza, see below)
Sliced red onion
Crumbly salty cheese (like feta)
Melty white cheese (like mozzarella)
For the pizza dough, you can use your favorite recipe. We make ours a lot of times, but lately we’ve been buying the dough balls at Sams Club (the ones they use for their pizza). They’re cheap, good, and super convenient to keep in the freezer. The cheeses are completely up to you. We’re flexible, and use what we have on hand. Make the pizza however you like – in the oven or on the grill. We barbecued this one because it’s too hot to turn the oven on. Start with some corn meal on the pan (you can throw the dough straight on a hot grill too, but it’s hard for us to do that they way we made this pizza, so we put it on a perforated pizza pan first). Oil up your hands and stretch/throw/push the dough into roughly pizza shape. Top with a generous layer of muhammara, then chicken, thinly sliced red onion, and cheeses. Grill until the crust is crispy/chewy and the cheese is melty. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses. Some chopped cilantro would be good here, but we didn’t have any.
I can’t get pomegranate molasses here, so whenever I want to make muhammara I have to make my own. Fortunately, it couldn’t be easier. You just boil pomegranate juice until it’s reduced to a thick syrup. Kind of like thick sticky cough syrup, but tastier.
A quart of pomegranate juice makes maybe 3/4 cup of pomegranate molasses, depending how thick you let it get. It keeps forever in the refrigerator, so you can make extra if you want.
Muhammara, aka the best dip ever
I’ll tell you a secret, and I bet it will shock you if you’ve read my recipes before (not, haha): I don’t really follow a recipe here. I add things until it tastes right and is the right consistency. This time I used pecans instead of walnuts because I didn’t have walnuts. This recipe is a good starting point, though.
7 oz. jar of roasted red peppers, drained
2/3 C fine fresh bread crumbs
1/3 C walnuts, toasted lightly and chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/2 tsp of salt
1 Tbl fresh lemon juice, or to taste
2 tsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried hot red pepper flakes
3/4 C extra virgin olive oil
Combine everything! Best if you let it sit overnight. I don’t bother chopping anything finely because I put it all in the blender. I grind the cumin and red pepper flakes in a mortar because I use whole cumin. I usually end up adding more olive oil. This recipe makes more than you will need for the pizza, but once you make it, you’ll find yourself dipping vegetables and crackers in it, eating it on pita, and smearing it on sandwiches.
Again, I don’t really use a recipe for this, just kind of throw things in. You can use whatever boneless chicken you like. I used chicken breasts this time. I cut them into small (maybe 1/2″) pieces and let them marinate overnight. I cooked them today before assembling the pizza. 2 breasts was more than I needed for this pizza.
2 chicken breasts
Juice of one lemon
1 Tbl of salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 C plain yogurt
1/2 chopped red onion
4 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of cinnamon