Buffalo Chicken of the Woods Pizza
This deep dish pizza is made with homemade dough and filled with sautéed chicken of the woods mushrooms smothered in spicy buffalo sauce along with shredded mozzarella and blue cheese crumbles. Drizzle with a creamy blue cheese dressing and sprinkle with green onions to finish it to perfection.
Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)
This bright yellow and orange polypore mushroom is hard to miss in the woods and it is easy to identify, as there aren't any close lookalikes. The trick is to pick it when it's still young before it turns tough.
Commonly known as chicken of the woods or sulphur shelf, this edible polypore grows in the summer and fall in Europe and North America on a wide variety of host trees, such as oak, poplar, aspen, willow, locusts, and beech, as well as stone fruit trees and pear trees. The mushroom starts as a bright yellow knob-shaped blob growing from a standing or fallen tree trunk, eventually transforming into a bright orange overlapping shelf-like structure.
It is an excellent choice edible when young and the flesh is thick, soft and watery. As it matures, it becomes tougher and eventually chalky and crumbly, and not edible. This mushroom, like the majority of mushrooms, has to be cooked properly, as ingesting it raw produces gastrointestinal upset. However, some people are sensitive to this mushroom even when properly cooked, and some tingling of the lips has been reported, so when you eat it for the first time, make sure you just eat a little bit to make sure it sits well with you. Many guides also recommend avoiding alcohol around the time of eating this mushroom.
To learn more about this mushroom see my mushroom profile on Laetiporus sulphureus.
Buffalo Chicken of the Woods Pizza
If you have some tender chicken of the woods mushrooms on hand and want an indulgent dinner, you've come to the right place. This deep dish pizza is made with homemade pizza dough and filled with sautéed chicken of the woods mushrooms smothered in spicy buffalo sauce along with shredded mozzarella and blue cheese crumbles. Yum! Then it's drizzled with a creamy blue cheese dressing and sprinkled with green onions to finish it to perfection. Make sure to leave some dressing on the side so you can dip the crispy crust!
Please be extremely careful cooking and eating foraged mushrooms. Never eat a mushroom that you are not 100% sure of its ID. The best way to learn how to identify and forage for edible mushrooms in your area is to join a local mushroom club or go with a trusted mushroom identifier or a mycologist. Then, even if you are 100% sure of its ID and know it's an edible mushroom, always try small quantities of a new mushroom first before eating a large batch to make sure it sits with you well.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Proving Time: at least 1.5 hours
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 11-12 inch nonstick, ovenproof skillet
- large skillet
- medium saucepan
When cooking chicken of the woods, it's important to only use the tender parts. You can tell by squeezing it between your fingers, because the mushroom will smush and then spring back. Also, when cut, young specimens will exude an aromatic yellow juice. In this case, I only used about an inch of the edge and used the tougher parts to make mushroom stock.
Deep Dish Pizza Dough
- ¾ cup warm water (110 degrees)
- 1 tsp active dry yeast (not rapid-rise)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting, sifted
- 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- olive oil
- nonstick spray
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 350 g/ 12.5 oz chicken of the woods
- ½ cup hot sauce
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp cream
- 8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
- ¾ cup blue cheese
- ¼ cup whole milk yoghurt
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp water
- 2 full slices of red onion, rings separated
- 1 green onion for garnish
Make Deep Dish Pizza Dough
- Combine ¾ cup warm water, 1 tsp yeast, and 1 tsp sugar in a bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups sifted flour, 1½ tsp salt, remaining 1 tsp sugar, and 3 tbsp melted butter, stirring until a ragged dough forms.
- Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead with floured hands until elastic and tacky but no longer sticky, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl brushed with olive oil, turning dough to evenly coat.
- Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in volume, 1.5 to 2.5 hours; or refrigerate until doubled in volume, at least 12 hours and up to 3 days, returning to room temperature before using, about 1 to 2 hours.
Make the Pizza
Top the homemade dough that had time to prove in the skillet with buffalo sauce, shredded mozzarella, blue cheese crumbles and sautéed chicken of the woods smothered in buffalo sauce. Then top with some more mozzarella, blue cheese crumbled and red onion rings. Bake!
- Preheat oven to 500°F.
- Spray an ovenproof skillet with nonstick spray. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Shape with your hands into a round that’s slightly larger than the cast-iron skillet you’re using. Place the dough into the skillet and work the edges of dough up the sides of the skillet with your fingertips, creating an edge. Place the skillet on top of the stove and let prove.
- Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil in another large skillet over medium high heat. Add the chopped chicken of the woods and cook until the mushrooms start to slightly brown, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt.
- Meanwhile, cook ½ cup hot sauce and 2 tbsp butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted. Stir in 1 tbsp cream, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and warmed through, about 3-5 minutes.
- Adjust the edges of the proven pizza dough by pushing it up the sides of the skillet again. Spread about 2 tbsp of the buffalo sauce over dough. Arrange about two thirds of the shredded mozzarella over, then top with ¼ cup of blue cheese.
- Mix the remaining buffalo sauce with the mushrooms and add on top the cheese-covered dough. Spread remaining mozzarella and another ¼ cup of blue cheese. Arrange red onion slices on top.
- Bake pizza on top rack until crust and cheese are nicely browned, about 15-20 minutes. Check at 10 minutes and if the dough is already browning, cover pizza with aluminum foil.
- While pizza bakes, whisk 1/4 cup whole milk yogurt, ½ tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp garlic powder, remaining ¼ cup blue cheese, ½ tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper, and 2 tbsp water in a small bowl, adding more water if sauce seems too thick (it should be pourable); set aside.
- After 15-20 minutes of baking, transfer skillet to stovetop (watch that handle!) and let pizza rest a few minutes. Using a spatula (or two), slide or lift the pizza onto a cutting board or platter.
Let me know what you think in the comments! I'd love to hear from you. Head to my Instagram account @fungiwoman for daily posts about my mushroom adventures. Also, check out my shop for some mushroom-inspired products and sign up for the newsletter to get updates.
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