Executive Chef Jenn Flynn
At Roofers Union in Washington, D.C., pizza gets a barbecue twist and a bold cheddar topping. Executive Chef Jenn Flynn soaks chicken thighs in a garlicky brine for three hours to tenderize them, then flavors the chicken with a smoky tomato-based barbecue sauce. Local ramps are pickled and used as a topping as well as blended into a puree for a drizzle. If ramps are out of season or pickled ones are not available, substitute green onions.
1 lb. ramps
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 cup red wine vinegar
Reserved ramp bulbs
5 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 (8 oz.) ball fresh pizza dough
6 oz. tomato-based barbecue sauce
4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup roughly chopped parsley
Brine for chicken thighs:
1 cup salt
4 qt. water
Bunch fresh thyme
6 bay leaves
1 whole head garlic, sliced in half
2 lemons, sliced
1. Prepare ramps: Separate green tops from bulbs; set bulbs aside. Bring saucepan of water to a boil and blanch ramp tops in boiling water for 12 seconds. Remove from boiling water and shock in bowl of ice.
2. Wring water from blanched ramp tops, pat dry, and combine in blender with 1 cup olive oil; puree on high speed. Pour puree into bowl. Mixture can also be stored overnight in refrigerator.
3. For pickled ramps: In saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water and 1 cup red wine vinegar; bring to a boil to make pickling liquid for ramp bulbs. Pour mixture over ramp bulbs and refrigerate overnight. Dispose of pickling liquid and slice bulbs thinly before using.
4. For chicken brine: In large saucepot over high heat, combine all brine ingredients; bring to a boil. Cool brine completely and add chicken thighs. Brine for 3 hours.
5. Remove thighs from brine and rinse with cold water. Dispose of brine. Pat thighs dry and cook in grill pan. Let rest few minutes before slicing and setting aside.
6. Preheat oven to 500 F and place pizza stone in oven to heat. To assemble: Use rolling pin to roll out dough on lightly floured surface until it’s about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to pizza peel. Spread barbecue sauce out to edges of pizza dough. Arrange sliced chicken and shredded cheese evenly on top. Drizzle with ramp puree.
7. Transfer pizza to oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. To serve, top finished pizza with pickled sliced ramps and parsley. Serve immediately.
Photograph courtesy of Roofers Union