BBQ Chicken Pizza

Sometimes the power goes out.

Sometimes you almost step on a rattle snake.

Sometimes you try to make a gourmet dinner of a wood fire grilled BBQ chicken pizza, the crust a golden brown as it sits upon your gas grill, dinner is looking fantastic and you are so hungry after an amazing day of hiking in the forest. You’re just taking the pizza off the grill and transferring it to the oven to melt the cheese when in the distance you hear the whines.

“Is that a siren?”

It’s not just one siren, it’s fifteen.

In the next ten minutes fifteen fire vehicles drive by your cabin that sits on the edge of this wilderness and you wonder, is dinner going to be put on hold? Am I going to be evacuated again?

It has been six years since the last big fire made me live out of my car and hotels for two weeks. In ten minutes fifteen fire trucks brought back all those memories of smoke so thick it choked me for the weeks that Southern California was engulfed in a smoky haze. I remember coughing so hard from the horrible particles in the air that I was vomiting.

One waft of wildfire smoke on the warm spring breeze is enough to remind me.

It was a picture perfect day up until this point. My friends were visiting from the city in the valley below us and they brought their city dogs up for a wilderness adventure. We spent all afternoon hiking trails, swimming in the cool creek waters with the pups and having the most relaxing day ever.

Until almost coming into contact with a baby rattlesnake on the hike back to the SUV. It was right in front of me and Bear the smelly male dog. I barely saw it. He didn’t see it at all; exhausted from a day of bossing Gwen, the female dog around what he now considers “his” creek.

The baby rattler did not even rattle and a friend of mine told me after this that local rattle snakes are actually adapting to living in a rural environment and they don’t rattle much anymore. This scares me as an active hiker and runner who runs into a lot of snakes. This was the first snake I had seen in our local mountains this year.

After a day of creek adventures that tired out two Labradors, I was ready to go home and eat a very large BBQ Chicken Pizza with feta cheese. Pizza was cooking away and dinner was very close to happening when the sirens began.

Within ten minutes of the sirens there was a helicopter circling my cabin. (It seemed like it was staying in place right above my cabin) I had actually thought I smelled smoke in the air about fifteen minutes earlier as I waited for the grill to heat up, but was so hungry, I put it to the back of my mind.

As I put the finishing touches on the pizza; throwing on the veggies and some cheese in a hurry, literally throwing the pizza in the oven as I pondered packing a few things in case we got evacuated.

The helicopter’s blades were very loud above me, almost drowning out Natalie Maines blaring from my laptop computer. I saw my neighbor standing in his yard talking to the new neighbors and I pondered putting on a bra to go talk to the neighbors. I didn’t really feel like putting on a bra, but at the same time I wanted to hear the gossip.

Underwire won.

After a brief talk with the neighbors it became clear, none of us had any idea what was going on and I still have no clue but the helicopters have stopped for the moment and there is a new loud drone shaking the neighborhood.

As soon as the sirens and helicopter loudness stopped the power went out.

The power was only out two minutes when one of my neighbors started up his generator.Seriously in this small town the power is known to go out for an hour or two here and there.You can’t go an hour without watching T.V. or whatever? I’m thinking to myself. I just think generators are annoying because they are so loud.

Mean while the rest of the neighborhood has decided to take a stroll around our block on this lovely May evening. Every one is waving hello and catching up with neighbors old and new.

That sounds more like my kind of night.

After I devour this delicious pizza, of course.

BBQ Chicken Pizza with Feta

I make the crust for this pizza on the BBQ; you could do it in the oven and make it easier, but it won’t taste like a fire roasted crust

1 tab olive oil
1 whole wheat pre made pizza dough
¾ cup BBQ sauce

1 cup Colby jack cheese

½ cup feta cheese
1 cup cooked and diced chicken ( I just poach raw chicken)
½ cup pine apple pieces, drained well
½ cup tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp cilantro
Roll out the pizza dough and cut it into half. Oil the top side well. Turn on the BBQ to high, just to warm. Using the best wood pellets for grilling that you can get your hands on is strongly recommended. Then turn it to low and put the dough on the grill, oiled side down.
Close the lid and cook five minutes. Oil the top facing side and flip the crust with a spatula. Cook 2-4 more minutes. The crust does not have to be thoroughly cooked, it will cook more in the oven.
Remove the crust from the BBQ.
Heat the oven to 350.
Put the crust on a baking sheet and layer BBQ sauce, cheese, chicken and veggies. Do not add cilantro.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.