Did I ever tell you guys that once upon a time I worked at California Pizza Kitchen? And even though I had to wear a bulky dress shirt and dorky tie to work everyday (none of which was helping my 17-year old self get a date), I loved it. I loved helping the kitchen make the staff meal (it was usually migas FTR) every morning. I loved constantly monitoring the pizza dough as it rose. And I loved when I got to weigh in on the new pizza experiments (even if they had already been decided on by the higher ups). If I were still there I imagine I would try to sell them on this Chicken, Balsamic, Blue Cheese, and Caramelized Onion Flatbread because it's worthy of CPK fame. Since I'm no longer wearing my bistro apron and black tie and CPK name tag, I figured I'd share this with you instead. Yes, it takes a few minutes to throw together but it's more than worth it.
quartered and thinly sliced
for rolling out the dough
(about 5 ounces)
Heat oven to 450°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place 4 cups of water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add chicken and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate and allow to rest until cool enough to handle and meanwhile start the onions. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it into bite-sized pieces.
If you're short on time (or just feeling a bit lazy), go ahead and use a rotisserie chicken or get some shredded chicken from your favorite salad bar (I won't tell, promise)!
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and add the chicken and half of the thyme and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until mixture is thoroughly mixed and cooked through.
You could make the onion-chicken mixture through this step up to 1 day ahead and just assemble right before you want to bake it.
When ready to assemble, cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to line a large rimmed baking sheet. Lightly flour the dough and either roll the dough out or press the dough into a large rectangle about 12-by-10-inches and 1/4-inch thick. Scatter mozzarella over the top then scatter chicken and onions over the mozzarella and finally top with blue cheese. Bake until crust is puffed and golden on the bottom and sides and cheese is melted, about 15 to 18 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until its reduced and coats the back of a spoon, about 8 to 10 minutes (it should be the consistency of room temperature honey). Set aside. If too thick, you can loosen by adding a teaspoon of vinegar and rewarming while stirring with a spoon.
There is plenty of flavor in the flatbread without this reduction so you don't have to use it; however, if you have the time, try it out because it's a pretty awesome addition.
Cut into 10 or 12 pieces and top drizzle with balsamic reduction and the thyme and serve immediately.