Blueberries have made their way to peak season here in Alabama. While they have many health benefits, their taste and convenience are equally valuable. Ever since Maggie and I planted a bush in the backyard, there are days that we eat them by the handful. Recently, we’ve been serving a variety from our local farmers’ market along with our café’s crepes (a not-so guilty pleasure).
Today in the café, we debut our monthly menu curated by Peabody award-winning chef Vivian Howard. Vivian provided us with an array of seasonal, flavorful dishes from her restaurant Chef & the Farmer, including the (absolutely) delicious recipe below – Blueberry BBQ Chicken Flatbread.
Stop by the café during the month of July to experience tastes from Vivian’s repertoire, as well as beloved recipes from The SFA Community Cookbook. Also, make plans to join us on the evening of July 25 for A Piggy Bank Dinner fundraiser for the Southern Foodways Alliance, featuring Vivian and friends. For more information and to reserve your seat, visit here.
The recipe below is straight from Vivian’s kitchen at Chef & the Farmer. Come and enjoy our version for lunch at The Factory Café, or recreate the dish in your home kitchen.
BLUEBERRY BBQ CHICKEN FLATBREAD WITH SMOKED GOUDA, RED ONION, AND JALAPENO
6 ounce piece dough
Blue BBQ sauce
Thinly sliced jalapenos
Thinly sliced red onions
Shredded smoked gouda
For the dough:
This is our pizza dough recipe. At Chef & the Farmer, we have a wood oven and produce pizzas in that manner. Before we had such an oven, we used a cast iron skillet. We fried the pizza on one side with a little olive oil, flipped it, dressed it on the cooked side, and popped it into a regular convection oven. I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are a lot of different ways to produce a tasty flatbread. I’m sure you have your own method. Nonetheless, here is ours:
2 quarts bread flour
3 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. granulated yeast
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
3 1/2 cups room temperature water
Whisk together the yeast, sugar, and water and allow the yeast to activate (about 5 minutes). In a large mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the dry ingredients and incorporate. Add the water and mix until the dough becomes smooth. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes. Cut it into 6 ounce portions and roll into a tight ball. Position the dough on sheet trays about an inch apart (they will spread out as they proof) and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Slide the sheet tray into the refrigerator and allow it to proof overnight and up to 2 days.
For the Blue BBQ Sauce:
3 quarts blueberries
6 cups cider vinegar
6 cups granulated sugar
1 cinnamon stick
3 tsp. chili flakes
2 tsp. salt
Combine the blueberries and the vinegar in a blender and blend until super smooth. Combine the blueberry vinegar, sugar, and spices in a large pot. Bring that pot up to a simmer and cook 40 minutes. Things should reduce and thicken up slightly. Remove the cinnamon stick and chill the sauce.
To Build the Flatbread:
Start by spreading a thin layer (about 3 Tbsp) of the sauce onto a stretched (roughly 10 inch) piece of dough. Top it with 2 ounces of shredded roast chicken (with skin, if possible), a few slices red onion, jalapeno, and shredded smoked Gouda. Bake it on a high heat until the flatbread is brown and the cheese is bubbling. Slice and serve.
Thank you to Vivian and Chef & the Farmer for sharing this dish with us (and our readers).