Friday, March 28, 2008

Spinach & Chicken Calzones

As a little change up from homemade pizza we decided to make calzones this week. The technique is pretty much the same as pizza though it does take quite a bit longer to cook. These were a nice size & easy to eat just with our hands. Matt thought it might have been better with a little red sauce, either inside or to dip it in. I really liked it the way it was. You can change this recipe to include any fillings you like & it is a great use for leftovers.
Spinach & Chicken Calzone

Pizza or Calzone Dough (from Wisebread)
This is our favorite pizza crust so far, you just need to remember to make it 2 hours ahead of time so it can rise.

1/2 t rapid-rise yeast
1 t kosher salt
3/4 c warm water (no hotter than 110 F)
1 T olive oil (plus 1/2 t for the bowl)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour (more as needed)

Put yeast in a large mixing bowl. Add water and 1 T olive oil & stir. Add the flour & salt. Once you can't stir anymore, knead the dough. If the dough is sticky, knead in more flour a little at a time until you get a smooth dough ball. Pour the 1/2 t olive oil into the bowl & turn the dough in it until coated. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel & let it rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours.

This make enough dough for one pizza or two calzones & can easily be doubled.

Spinach & Chicken Calzone Filling

5 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed with the liquid squeezed out
1 c cooked chopped chicken
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c part-skim ricotta
1/2 c grated mozzarella
1/2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
pinch of dried basil
pinch of dried oregano
pinch of ground nutmeg
salt & pepper
Olive oil

Sauté the onions & garlic until fragrant & translucent (you can skip this step & put them in raw but this gave them a nice mellow flavor). Mix everything together.

Preheat oven to 400. Roll the dough out into a circle. Cut the circle in half. Place half the topping on each half circle towards one side. Fold the other side over the topping. pinch the edges shut with your fingers or a fork. If they aren't staying closed use a little water. Brush the top with olive oil & poke a few holes in it with a fork. If you want a shiner crust use an egg wash) Place the calzone on a lightly greased baking sheet & bake for 30 - 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let sit for about 15 minutes before eating.

Makes 2 calzones.

To use the dough for pizza. Roll it out & place it on a lightly greased baking sheet. Add toppings & cook at 450 for about 15 minutes. Time will vary based on the thickness you like your crust & how much toppings you used. We've also cooked this on a pizza stone & it came out beautifully.


Deborah said...

I love calzones, and this filling sounds wonderful!

Jen said...

These calzones look really good-- I have to say I agree with Matt though, I alway want red sauce to dip a calzone into.

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Measurement Abbreviations

T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
c = cup
lb = pound
oz - ounce


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