Barbecued Pollo Ad Astra Pizza – Cajun chicken, pepperoni, red onion and sweet peppers

Last year I made a pledge to myself that as soon as we had our own garden, the first thing we would buy would be a barbecue, and I would get super creative with it and show that coals don’t just cook burgers and sausages. Well, we now have a barbecue and the second the sun came out we were straight down the shops to get one.  We decided to stay traditional and get a coal barbecue, but this one is pretty special and has a lid with a temperature gage on it – meaning that cooking pizzas on a barbecue actually became possible. So long as you have a lid and can get your barbecue to 200-220’C then you can cook a pizza on it, and what a great pizza this turned out to be!

This pizza was based on my all-time favourite pizza, which is the Pizza Express pollo ad astra. I have also made my own preference addition and added pepperoni to he topping, as all the best pizza has pepperoni on top! The only problem is, now that I can make my own version of this (and homemade is always better) I just want to make this pizza all the time – and luckily it can be made in an oven, so even when it rains (which is regularly does here) I can still enjoy my favourite pizza. Who needs pizza express ei?!

BBQ 130


For the dough

–          200g strong white bread flour

–         1 tsp easy blend dried yeast

–         ½ tsp salt

–         1 tbsp. olive oil

–          120ml warm water

For the Cajun chicken

–          1 large chicken breast

–          Salt

–          Splash oil

–          1 clove garlic – crushed and finely chopped

–          Juice 1 lemon

–          2 tsp paprika

–          1 tsp cumin

–          1 tsp dried thyme

–          ½ tsp mustard powder

–          ½ tsp cayenne pepper

For the Tomato Sauce

–          1 clove garlic – crushed and finely chopped

–          1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

–          Pinch sugar

–          1 tsp oregano

–          1 tbsp tomato puree

–          Salt and pepper

For the Pizza

–          150g fresh mozzarella ball

–          ½ red onion – finely sliced

–          10 sweet pepperdew peppers – halved

– pepperoni (quantity to taste)

–          Parmesan

–          Black pepper


Combine the flour, yeast and salt together in a bowl and make a well in the middle

Mix the oil into the warm water and pour into the well in the middle of the bowl

Stir the flour gradually into the well, bringing it in a bit at a time from the side of the bowl.

Get the dough out on a floured worktop and kneed for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic

Grease a clean bowl with olive oil and put the dough into this, covering with an oiled sheet of cling film

Place somewhere warm (I put mine in the airing cupboard) and leave to rise for about an hour until it has doubled in size

While this dough is rising cook the chicken. Pre heat oven to 180’C and cook the chicken with the oil and the salt for 20-25 minutes until cooked – test it by prodding it with a skewer and if the juices run clear then it’s cooked.

Allow the chicken to cool slightly and then bash with a rolling pin and pull the chicken apart.

Toss the chicken in the Cajun mix so it is well coated and chill until needed

To make the sauce, heat a small splash of oil in saucepan and fry the garlic for a couple of minutes until golden. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and leave to simmer for 10 minutes to thicken.

Mash the sauce with a potato masher to squish the tomatoes and then set aside until you are ready to top your pizza.

When the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and roll it out onto a pizza stone until it is about 1-2mm thin. Trim any excess dough and use this to make a small garlic bread or some yummy caramelised onion and goats cheese bread – as we did.

Spread a ladle of the sauce over the pizza (save the leftover sauce for a pasta, pizza toast or soup base) and then scatter over the chicken,pepperoni, mozzarella, onion and peppers.

Set your barbecue (or your oven) to 220’C and cook with the lid on for 10-15 minutes until crispy – keep your eye on the base and make sure it doesn’t burn.

Remove from the barbecue and scatter with parmesan and a twist of black pepper before slicing.

Serve with heaps of fresh salad and a dash of sunshine.


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