Monday, November 14, 2011

Chicken Pesto Calzones

I am all about meals that I can make a bunch of and then freeze half for later, you know like a busy week night or anytime that I may want to make that"chicken-bean-salsa-easiest meal ever" thing.
This recipe completely fit the bill for something easy that freezes well, and of course is really yummy. Don't be afraid to try something other than the pesto chicken filling, it would be great with red sauce, pepperoni and sausage. Or even spinach, mozzarella and ricotta. It's a calzone folks the options are endless.

Chicken Pesto Calzones
*Makes 4 BIG calzones or 8 small to medium sized calzones

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups of flour
1 cup pesto
3 cups cooked shredded chicken
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
2 ounces shredded Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle on top)
Italian seasoning

For dough, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar in a mixing bowl allow to foam, about 5 minutes. Add the olive oil, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Stir until the mixture is smooth. Gradually add the remaining flour, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough starts to pull from the sides of the bowl. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead in the rest of the flour until the dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for about 1 1/2 – 2 hours. (You could also do all of the mixing in an electric mixer.)
Once the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 475°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside. Divide the dough into four portions (or 8 depending on how many you want to make.) and spread each portion of the dough into a rectangle/oval on a lightly floured surface. In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken and the pesto. Spoon 1/4 (or 1/8 depending on how many you’re making) of the chicken pesto mixture onto half of each piece of dough. Top with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the edges to seal the calzone.
At this point, you can wrap with plastic wrap and place in a ziplock freezer bag and pop the calzones in the freezer. Or you can transfer each calzone to the baking sheet, brush the top with some olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning and salt. Bake for about 12 – 14 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.
For frozen calzones: When you’re ready to serve them, just unwrap and let them thaw on a baking sheet before baking according to the recipe directions (you can also unwrap them and let them thaw gradually in the fridge).

1 comment:

  1. Ohhh! Manda, I just found your blog and I'm way excited about it! Cute!