I don’t have a car, so I generally don’t leave the city…ever. If it’s not metro accessible, it doesn’t exist to me.
I love how quickly I’ve adjusted to this life of no cars. I love not worrying about how high gas prices are, or how much insurance costs, or if someone is going to ding my door in the parking lot, or did I forget to change the oil? I grew up miles and miles outside of the nearest town, and there aren’t sidewalks along the two-lane country roads, so cars were a mandatory part of life. There’s a freedom that I associate with having a car: you can go anywhere, you can buy a ton of groceries and put them in the trunk, you don’t have to perfectly time your arrival at the busstop or risk standing in the rain for 15 minutes. But there’s an entirely different freedom that comes when you don’t own a car: you don’t have this incredibly expensive responsibility that you might destroy because someone else is driving poorly, you don’t ever need a designated driver, you never have to worry about finding a parking spot, or someone breaking into your car to steal your ipod.
But this past week, my roommate was out of town, and I offered to move her car on street cleaning days, so in exchange she said I could use the car for whatever while she was gone. Having a car is almost like a drug. I quickly found myself wanting to drive the mile that I normally walk to get to Target and do my grocery shopping (I restrained myself, thankfully). But I did take a couple trips out into Virginia to hit up the big craft stores that don’t exist within DC (Michael’s, JoAnn’s, etc…).
And then on Saturday, my friend and I drove out to Great Falls State Park to do some hiking. It’s really not that far out, maybe 10 miles from Georgetown, but it’s a whole different world. Rushing river, trees, boulders, wildlife…
We spent a few hours scrambling over boulders along the river and enjoying the amazing views. When we got to this clearing by the river, my friend joked “okay, now you have to climb that cliff.” And I was like “yeah, no.” But then we looked closer and realized the trail marker actually did go straight up the cliff…so…up the cliff we climbed.
The sunglasses prevent you from seeing the sheer terror in my eyes. The picture fails to capture the river gorge directly below the cliff, into which I was sure I was going to fall.
But I survived, and after conquering both the cliff and my yearly “lady’s exam” this morning, I decided I seriously deserved some pizza. And for some reason, it really needed to be BBQ chicken.
I’m actually not sure I’ve ever even eaten a BBQ chicken pizza before today. The idea has previously never appealed to me. If it were even a remote possibility, these weird cravings would have me worried that I’m preggers. But this is the Very Single Girl’s Kitchen. Very Very Single.
Making your own pizza is super easy and oh-so-satisfying. I just baked a chicken in BBQ sauce, shredded it, and threw it on my dough with a layer of BBQ sauce, mozzarella, red onions, and more mozzarella.
BBQ Chicken Pizza on Whole Wheat Crust
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
Serves 1 very hungry single girl
Whole Wheat Crust
(Makes two single serving crusts)
¾ cup warm water
½ tsp active dry yeast
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp olive oil
In a small bowl, sprinkle yeast over warm water, let sit for a few minutes.
In an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and salt. With mixer on lower, drizzle in olive oil and mix until blended. Still with mixer on low, pour in water/yeast mixture and continue stirring until combined, and dough forms a sticky ball. It’s pretty sticky, don’t worry about that.
Lightly oil a medium sized bowl. Form dough into a ball and put in oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm area for 1-2 hours.
*This makes enough crust for two single serving pizzas. You can wrap the other half up in plastic wrap, toss it in the fridge and make another pizza next weekend. The dough only gets better after chilling in your fridge for a few days.
To Assemble Pizza
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 tbsp barbeque sauce
½ medium red onion, sliced
½ cup shredded mozzarella (or more…)
5 tbsp barbeque sauce (additional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place one chicken breast in a small oven-proof dish and coat with 3 tbsp of your favorite barbeque sauce. (I’m a big fan of Sweet Baby Ray’s). Bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through. After removing from oven, dice or shred chicken.
Turn oven up to 500 degrees. And turn your amp up to 11. (Okay, you don’t have to do that second thing.)
Take half your dough and stretch it out to your desired thickness. It’s not a science, and pizzas look cooler when they aren’t perfect (at least that’s what I tell myself). Wrap the other half up in plastic wrap and toss it in the fridge for later this week.
Drizzle some olive oil on a baking sheet, and place your stretched-out dough on the oiled sheet. Spread the remaining 5 tbsp of barbeque sauce on top of the dough as the sauce for the pizza. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Add shredded/diced chicken and red onion slices, and top with just a little more mozzarella.
Bake in oven for 15 minutes, until cheese is starting to turn bubbly and golden brown. Remove, let cool for a few minutes, slice, and devour.
*This makes a very chicken heavy pizza, but that’s how I like it. You could use all the dough, and make a bigger, less chickeny pizza.