Monday, March 1, 2010

Saturday Night BBQ Chicken Calzones

These were a product of my husband's imagination.  You have to understand, first of all, that he is a die hard red sauce + meat + cheese and none of this funny business on his pizza kind of a guy.  So I was pleasantly surprised when he specifically asked me to make calzones with barbecue sauce and chicken in them, and I took off from there.  They were really, really tasty, I must say.  The kids ate seconds.  We enjoyed the leftovers the next day.  Definitely a must make again recipe.
See all that melty cheesy saucy goodness?  YUM!


Double batch of pizza crust dough**
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, thawed
kosher salt, fresh ground pepper
Barbecue sauce of your choice (we prefer Jack Daniel's Original No. 7 recipe or Honey Smokehouse)
1 large bell pepper, preferably orange, yellow or red
1 small purple onion
olive oil
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup real bacon bits

Make your pizza crust according to the directions.  While it is rising, fire up the grill and let it preheat at medium for a few minutes.  Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper over the chicken breasts, and put them on the grill.  Cook for 7-8 minutes on the first side.  Meanwhile, slice the purple onion into 1/4 thick rounds, not separating the rings, and quarter the bell pepper so that you have relatively flat slabs.  Drizzle a little olive oil over the veggies and carefully toss to coat, leaving the onion rings intact.  Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on top.  Add them to the grill when you flip the chicken breasts over, taking care to place the peppers farther away from the flames because they'll burn quickly if you're not careful.

Baste the newly exposed cooked side of the chicken breast with sauce, and shut the lid for another 7-8 minutes.  Flip the chicken over one last time and baste  again with sauce, and and flip over the veggies at the same time.  If you're feeling really snappy, drizzle a little sauce on them too.  Once the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is nicely caramelized but not burned, remove the chicken and veggies to a plate and let the chicken rest for a few minutes before slicing into thin strips.  At this point, you will slice the pepper slabs into 1/4" wide strips and separate the onion rings.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Spray a couple of baking sheets lightly with cooking spray.  Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a circle about 8" in diameter.  Place a helping of peppers, onions, chicken, cheese and bacon on each one and finish it off with a generous tablespoon (or so) of sauce.  Pull the sides up and pinch to close.  If you want to be all fancy and scientific about it, mix the filling around a little bit, but I found that it worked just fine this way.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the calzones are uniformly golden brown, and devour immediately.  I have a sneaking suspicion that these would be awesome with a little bit of well drained pineapple, but a certain someone in my house doesn't think you should add fruit to pizza or pizza-like concoctions.

**This particular batch of dough I used both white wheat and semolina flour as my whole grain mix along with all purpose flour as directed in the recipe.  I find that I really really love semolina in pizza doughs.  It adds a brightness of flavor and I love the sunshiney yellow color.


Teresa said...

Thanks for the great idea Heidi, we tried these a week or so ago, with a few modifications because I didn't have bacon or purple onions and it was definitely a hit at our house!

Nurse Heidi said...

Without the bacon?? GASP!! (Totally kidding,'ll have to make them again with it, though.) Glad to hear they came out well!

Rachel said...

Putting this on the menu! I'll be back next week with reviews!