Chicken Broccoli Calzone

Calzones are one of those foods that always look like they are more difficult to make than they actually are. Nobody really gets impressed when you make a pizza, but if you somehow wrap that pizza dough around the filling and bake it, it turns into this amazing creation that makes people you slaved for hours in the kitchen. Put a little prepared pesto in there and it the magic factor goes up even more. This is one of my favorite fast, easy, impressive meals for guests. Little do they know how easy it is!  

The filling in this recipe is super easy. Take some chopped cooked chicken, prepared pesto and mozzarella cheese and mix it together in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next, roll out your pizza dough. You can use your favorite pizza dough recipe, store bought dough, those pop-up dough containers that always make me jump when they open  . . . any kind of pizza dough you want. I always use my own recipe because it's almost as fast as the time it takes to get my nerves up to opening one of those pop-up canisters.

Divide the dough into eight balls, and roll each out until it is about a foot in diameter. Spoon about 3/4 cup of filling and fold the dough over the filling, even with the other half of the circle. There's all kinds of ways to seal this edge shut. You can use the tines of a fork if you want, or just kind of roll and pinch it. If you want to make a super-fancy-this-almost-looks professional seal, just place your index finger on the dough seam and wrap the edge up around it. Remove your finger and repeat this all the way around the edge.

Using a sharp knife, make five slits on the top of each calzone. Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes.

Done! It's that easy.

Broccoli Chicken Calzones

1 (16 oz) package frozen broccoli spears, thawed and chopped medium
1 pound whole-milk mozzarella cheese or part-skim, shredded (4 cups)
2 cups medium-chopped cooked chicken (1 pound)
1/2 cup pesto, homemade or store-bought
Table salt and ground black pepper
Flour for the counter
2 pounds pizza dough (enough for about two pizzas)

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 450 degrees. Pat the broccoli dry, then toss with the mozzarella, chicken, and pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. On a lightly floured counter, roll out half the dough to a 12-inch round, about 1/4 inch thick. Following the photo, mound half of the filling onto one side of the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the edges.Fold the other half of the dough over the filling and press the edges to seal. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

3. Transfer the calzones to a baking sheet. Use a sharp knife to cut 5 slits diagonally across the top of each calzone. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes.

Recipe Source: adapted from Cook's Illustrated Family Cookbook

1 Click For Comments:

Ok, not only does this look SOOO yummy--but I'm seriously submitting your pictures that you took into Home & Garden magazine! AMAZING Nicole!!!

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