Vegetarian Chicken & Waffles Pizza
Goat cheese, mini waffles, fried Beyond Meat chicken (fried in homemade waffle batter), strawberries, bourbon-maple sauce
Ingredients: 1 ball of pizza dough olive oil salt & pepper
semolina flour for pizza stone canola oil for frying 1 ½ cups flour, plus more for dipping & dusting 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 ½ cups buttermilk 6 tablespoons butter (melted), plus 2 tablespoons 2 eggs 2 cups maple syrup ¼ cup bourbon ~½ package Beyond Meat vegetarian chicken strips (we got the lightly seasoned variety—now available at Whole Foods!) 2-3 fresh strawberries, sliced horizontally (or however you prefer) 1 log of goat cheese
Directions: Preheat your oven to 550° F, and turn on your waffle maker. To make the waffle batter, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and ½ teaspoon of salt in a bowl. Next, whisk in the buttermilk, melted butter & eggs, until most of the lumps are gone.
When your waffle iron is hot, pour in about a spoonful of batter for each waffle (we’re making mini waffles, remember), and then cook according to your iron’s directions. You’ll want to end up with about ten waffles. Save the rest of your batter, because you are about to use it for the fried “chicken.”*
Fill a deep skillet with about an inch of canola oil and heat it to about 350° F. You may need to adjust the heat as you go so that the best fry is achieved. Cut your Beyond Meat strips into halves or thirds, so that they are closer to nugget shape, and fill a small bowl with flour.
When you’re ready to start frying, coat each nugget in flour and dip it in the waffle batter. Make sure they are completely coated, shaking off excess, and dip them back in the flour, rolling to coat. Make sure you wash your hands as you go, or else you will end up with too many clumps in the flour.
Next put the nuggets in the oil and let them fry for a minute or so on each side. This could actually take a couple seconds, depending on how hot your oil is. Just keep an eye on them and make sure they turn a nice even brown, but don’t burn. When you take them out, put them on a paper towel-covered plate to soak up the excess oil.
Now you can make the bourbon-maple sauce. In a small saucepan, bring the maple syrup to a boil over medium-high heat. Let it simmer until it’s reduced by about half, and then remove from the heat. Add the bourbon and whisk in the butter until melted. You can put it back on low heat until it’s ready to pour.
Now that your oven is hot, prepare the dough using the instructions on the right. When you’ve baked it for a minute, brush it lightly with olive oil. Break off pieces of the goat cheese and lay them out evenly on the pizza.
Next add the waffles, pressing them down into the goat cheese so that they cover most of the pizza. Follow this with the fried nuggets and the strawberry slices, and finally drizzle the bourbon-maple sauce on top.
Pop your pizza in the oven and bake until the nuggets are getting toasty on top and the crust is a nice golden brown. Then take it out and prepare to amaze your friends with this I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Chicken masterpiece!
*Note: I say “chicken” because there is no actual chicken in it, but as a non-vegetarian I will say that this stuff is as close to chicken as it gets. A few of our friends who tried it didn’t realize it wasn’t meat, and were shocked when we told them what they had just eaten. It’s very convincing.