This spicy pizza recipe makes delicious, Brooklyn-Style homemade pizza a snap, even if you don't have a pizza stone or peel!
In a small bowl, mix the yeast with the warm water and wait 5-10 minutes for the water to foam. (Not necessary if you’re using instant yeast, but I still do it to be sure my yeast is alive and kicking.)
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, olive oil, salt and sugar. If you have a stand or hand mixer, use your dough hook attachment. Mix together, then slowly add in the water and knead at low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. It should easily form into a ball with your hands. If it sticks too much, add more dry flour until it is workable.
Lightly coat a large bowl with olive oil. Form the dough into a ball and put it in the bowl, turning it gently so it is coated with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place for at least an hour or so until it doubles in size.
Marinate the chicken with all of the ingredients (except oil) for at least 30 minutes.
In a small saucepan, heat up the oil.
Stir fry the chicken until it changes color, then cover and let cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through.
Remove from heat, reserve the chicken stock for use in the pizza sauce and allow the chicken pieces to come to room temperature.
Put the oil and butter in a saucepan and allow it to heat up until the butter melts.
Add the celery and stir fry for 30 seconds, then add the onion, cook for 30 seconds, lastly add the garlic. Saute these until the celery is soft, the onions are transparent, and the garlic no longer gives off a raw smell. Do not let the onions brown.
Add the fresh pureed tomatoes and fry until the tomatoes no longer smell/taste raw and their color has changed a bit.
Stir in the tomato paste.
Add the bay leaf, cheese, sugar and spices. Stir until combined, cover, and simmer on a low flame for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the chicken stock from the prepared chicken, and stir to combine. Cover, remove from heat, and set aside.
Prepare your pizza dough and set aside to rise. Put an empty pizza pan in the oven and preheat the oven to 230°C (450°F). (If you have an oven large enough to accommodate two pans, go ahead and put both in the oven, and adjust the instructions so that you can bake both pizzas at the same time. Most Pakistanis have smaller ovens, necessitating that we bake the pizzas one at a time.)
While you are waiting for the dough to rise and the oven to preheat, prepare the chicken fajita and the pizza sauce.
When the dough is ready, remove the plastic wrap and punch down the dough. Cut it in half (or in as many portions as you require). Put the balls in separate bowls and cover with plastic wrap again for about ten minutes.
If you want to add any other toppings, go ahead and chop them up now. I typically add sliced onions, green bell peppers (capsicum), black olives and mushrooms. You can add whatever you like.
Cut a large piece of parchment paper (if you can’t find this in Pakistan, use “butter” paper, just don’t bake on it) to serve as your “pizza peel.” Lightly dust it with flour. Take one ball out and place on the parchment paper. Flatten it gently with the heel of your hands. Starting at the center and working your way out, use your fingertips to flatten and stretch the dough to about a 1/2” thickness. Keep turning the dough so it doesn’t stick to the parchment paper. If the dough won’t stretch any more, let it rest for five minutes and continue until you get the desired size. Flatten the dough to a uniform thickness, then pinch the edges to form the lip of your crust. Repeat with second ball.
Brush the dough with a light coating of olive oil. Use your fingertips to make dents in the dough so that it won’t form bubbles.
Spread the tomato sauce over each pizza, but rather than going for thick layer, think of it more like the way you would butter toast, scrape the ladle around the crust to spread it as evenly as you can. It’s okay if there are a few light or bald spots, the cheese should cover that up. Around 2/3 cup of sauce for each pizza should be more than enough. If you like a saucy pizza, you can add more, but the tradeoff is that the crust won’t be as crispy.
Distribute half of the mozzarella cheese and half of the cheddar cheese evenly over the pizza, add the desired amount of chicken and optional toppings
Open the oven door and slide out the oven rack if easily possible, or else take out the pizza pan and place on a heat resistant surface. Using the parchment paper as a pizza peel, lift it up and carefully slide the pizza off of the paper onto the pan. You may have to jiggle the paper a bit to get it to slide off. Place pan back in oven and bake at 230°C (450°F) for 15 minutes.
Slide a spatula under the pizza and gently remove from the pan onto a baking tray. Cover to keep warm.
Slide the second pizza onto the pan and bake for 15 minutes.
If your pizza hasn’t turned golden brown on top (a common problem with Pakistani ovens), turn off your oven and turn on the grill, and cook each pizza from the top for about 5 minutes (or until it is evenly golden brown).
Slice and serve.