Soooo, what do we have here? Chizza, my friends! It's chicken + pizza rolled into one fun bite (or bites, if we want to be technical). I've been seeing commercials and promotions for this ingenious mash up all over the internet these past few weeks and naturally, I was very much intrigued. KFC Philippines rolled out their newest menu item a day or two after I left the country so I wasn't able to try it. And to add to my disappointment, the chicken-pizza wonder is not even available in U.S. markets! The pimply-faced teenager behind the counter of our neighborhood KFC stared at me like I was from Mars and spoke an alien language when I tried to order myself a Chizza. Drat! The craziest thing to happen to chicken and pizza and I am going to miss it? No way, Jose! Time to break out the cast iron skillet and get a-frying!
Oh, what a cool activity it turned out! G and I had fun assembling our individual chicken pizzas with various toppings. He had pepperoni and sliced jalapenos on his while I went Hawaiian-style with pineapple and ham on mine. Your imagination (and pantry) is your limit here, folks. Mushrooms, bell peppers, red onions, olives, crumbled sausage, crisp bacon bits all sound super good to me. Remember, though, that toppings are just half the experience. A good part of this chizza is the chicken crust. You want the crust golden and crisp on the outside while tender and juicy in the inside. Here are a few steps I took to ensure chizza-licousness.
- As the breast meat is pounded thin and will be passed through heat twice, marinate the chicken in buttermilk brine for about 4 hours to lock in moisture.
- Add corn starch to the flour for extra crunch!
- Fry at the right temperature which is about 350 F. Make sure meat is at room temperature to prevent the temp of the oil from dropping during frying and to ensure even cooking.
- Do NOT drain on paper towels as this makes deep-fried foods soggy. Instead, use a wire rack set over a baking sheet to drain chicken.
- 4 pieces 4 ounces ounces each boneless, skinless chicken breasts or cutlets
For the Buttermilk Brine
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
For the Breading
- ¾ cup flour
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
For Egg wash
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- canola oil
- ½ cup pizza sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- ½ cup pineapple tidbits
- 2 to 3 thin slices ham cut into pieces
- Parmesan cheese
- Chili pepper flakes or hot sauce
- With a knife, slice the chicken breast horizontally, butterflying them open. Put butterflied chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound with a meat mallet to about ¼-inch thick.
- In a resealable bag, combine brine ingredients: buttermilk, salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts and marinate in the refrigerator for about 4 hours. Drain chicken well, discarding marinade. Pat chicken dry and allow to sit in room temperature for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- On a shallow plate, combine coating ingredients: flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper. Whisk until well distributed.
- In a bowl, combine egg wash ingredients: eggs and buttermilk. Whisk together until well blended and foamy.
- Lightly dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip in egg mixture and then dredge again in flour mixture to fully coat. Don't shake off excess flour, pack and press onto meat as possible.
- In a cast iron skillet, heat about 2-inches deep of oil until hot but not smoking (350 F). Gently slide chicken into hot oil. Do not overcrowd pan, cook in batches needed. Deep-fry chicken, turning as needed, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until golden and crisp. With tongs, remove from pan and drain on a wire rack set over a baking sheet.
- Arrange fried chicken cutlets in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of pizza sauce on top and spread to cover surface. Divide shredded mozzarella onto each of the chicken pizzas. Top with pineapple and ham.
- Bake in a 420 F oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese and hot sauce as desired.