buffalo chicken naan pizza

Pizza is never not on my shortlist of “things I want for dinner.”

Usually, I veer left — chicken, kale, sweet potatoes, cucumbers in Greek yogurt.

But some days are just pizza days. And who am I to deny my soul that pizza? If I have the energy to cook, and I really want a pizza, I try to make it at home. There’s a dramatic difference, healthwise, between making a little naan pizza like this at home, and ordering a large pizza from a restaurant. With this pizza, you can control the ingredients, pair it with a nice, simple salad, and have a legitimately balanced meal.

If you order a pizza for delivery (#treatyoself), then try this trick: Before you start eating it, stick a few pieces in Ziploc bags and pop ’em in the freezer. They’ll make a great quick lunch or dinner on a rainy day, and this way you won’t eat the whole pizza in one sitting.

why yesterday was a pizza day

As relentlessly as I pursue joy, flow, and alignment, some days I just wake up feeling blah. I can’t say why, but I just have less energy, less vigor, less zest. On these days, I’m slower, less productive, less outgoing. It’s harder to tap into my natural, neutral joy.

There’s a Polish saying for when this happens: Getting out of bed on the left foot. Apparently, starting the day on your left foot causes anxiety, frustration, and impulsivity. The right foot brings calm, control, and sanity. Have not conducted scientific test to check validity, but it sounds legit.

On days that start blah, I like to end with a hoorah. I want to punctuate the day with a positive, comforting ending. These aren’t the days for kale salad — they require something with a little more soul.

this magical pizza

I started mentally developing this pizza around lunchtime — what kind of pizza (buffalo chicken), what kind of crust (naan), what kind of chicken (rotisserie), what kind of cheese (mozzarella and bocacini). Green stuff? Cilantro and green onions. Sauce: Ranch. Really good ranch. A ranch taste test.* Yes.

I created this pizza to require little effort but pack a big punch. It’s a deeply satisfying meal, especially with a nice, refreshing side salad (recipe included). Here’s your step-by-step guide to this glorious pizza. It (and the salad) are remarkably easy, and feel like a giant hug.

Best enjoyed on Mondays, but also Thursdays and Sundays (there’s just something about watching football and eating buffalo chicken). If you don’t watch football — then best enjoyed whenever your little heart wants. 

This recipe serves two for dinner and maybe a small lunch the next day (depending on how hungry you are).

INGREDIENTS

Pizza:

  • 1 package naan bread (2 pieces naan)
  • 1 small rotisserie chicken (salt & pepper)
  • 1/4 cup Frank’s hot sauce
  • 1/4 grass-fed butter
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 8-10 bocacini (fresh mozzarella cheese balls)
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tbsp. green onion, chopped

Salad:

  • 6 cups spring mix
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan

Lemon vinaigrette:

  • juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup + olive oil
  • salt & pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place cookie sheet in oven (to let it heat up — this will help your crust stay crispy). Whisk together ingredients to make lemon vinaigrette and set aside.
  2. In a small pan, melt butter with Frank’s. Remove from heat when melted.
  3. Pull rotisserie chicken into a small bowl. Exclude skin from the bowl — focus on getting the meat from the breasts and drumsticks.
  4. Brush the buffalo sauce on the 2 naan breads. Divide the shredded mozzarella cheese between the two of them, sprinkling from crust to crust.
  5. Toss the chicken with the remaining buffalo sauce. Distribute between two naan breads.
  6. Cut bocacini in half. Space them out so every piece of each pizza has a few pieces of fresh mozzarella. Drizzle with ranch* and a little Frank’s (from the bottle).
  7. Remove baking sheet (with pot holders, they’re hot) from the oven. Place the breads on the sheet and place back in the oven.
  8. Bake until crust is crispy, about 8 minutes.When the crust is golden and crispy, move the cookie sheet to the top rack. Turn the oven to a low broil (around 450). Watch the pizzas. You’re just trying to get some color on the cheeses. Don’t let the cheeses or bread turn black — pull them out when they’re nice and golden.
  9. Sprinkle with green onions and chopped cilantro. Just before serving, toss together the spring mix, lemon vinaigrette, and parmesan. Finish with a coarse grind of pepper. Enjoy. 

* — Ranch taste test: He preferred the classic, Hidden Valley. I liked Brianne’s. Neither is in any way paleo, but I think we’ll survive. #yolo

** — To make Brianne’s better for drizzling, mix in a little milk or water (it’s pretty thick).

 

 

 

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