For this week’s Sunday Supper, I want to share one of my comfort foods: chicken, broccoli, cheddar calzones. Calzones are such a perfect food – dough and filling. Best yet, they are very, very freezer friendly, so, though they can take a bit of time to put together, they work well for super easy weekday meals: pull the calzone out of the freezer and toss it in the oven (still foil wrapped) for 45 minutes or so at 350 degrees.
It’s started to rain again in my part of the PNW, so I have little desire to do much beyond sit around, read, and cook comfort food. With this weather, I’m also much more likely to want to cook something “fancy” on the weekend, so you’ll likely see a few posts like this one this fall and winter. I also can’t resist roasted garlic – so if you aren’t a fan, feel free to leave it out. Calzones are so very versatile – I highly encourage you to think of other great combinations for the filling and use the dough as a base for your own creations.
Chicken, Broccoli, Cheddar Calzones
2 cups warm water
2 packets active dry yeast (or 4 ½ teaspoons yeast)
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 cups flour
Roasted garlic from one head roasted garlic
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
¾ cup half and half
¾ cup shredded cheddar or gruyere cheese
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head broccoli
¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place chicken thighs into an oven proof dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with one teaspoon salt. Bake for 20 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Once thighs are cooked, set aside.
While the chicken is cooking, make the dough. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let sit for a few minutes until the yeast becomes foamy. Add the olive oil to the yeast, and then one cup flour and the salt. Mix. Continue to add flour until the dough comes together in a shaggy ball. Turn out on a well-surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes. The dough should be a bit sticky still but not so much so that it sticks to your hands or to the surface. Let the dough rise for an hour in a bowl covered with oiled plastic wrap or a few clean tea towels. Punch the dough down and let it rise for another hour.
Reduce the oven temperature to 425 degrees.
In the last half hour that the dough is rising, prepare the cheese sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat and add the roast garlic. Stir a few times and then whisk the flour in a little bit at a time. Once the flour is fully incorporated, let cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for a minute. Add the half and half slowly, continuing to stir until it is fully incorporated. Continue to stir until the sauce starts to thicken. Take the sauce off the burner and stir in the cheese. Set aside.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Chop the broccoli into small pieces. Sauté in a non-stick pan for five to seven minutes to slightly soften. Chop the chicken into small pieces.
In a large bowl, combine the chicken, broccoli, sauce, and remaining shredded cheese. Stir well.
Punch down the calzone dough and split into six pieces. On a well-floured surface, roll out the first piece into a circle. Place 1/6th of the chicken and sauce mixture in the middle of the circle and fold half over the filling. Crimp down around the edges and place the calzone on the parchment lined baking sheet. Do the same with the remaining dough and filling.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the calzones are golden brown on top and bottom. Enjoy!
I’m pleased to have this recipe on the Saucy Saturdays Blog Hop. Please take a minute and check out the links to the hosts’ websites – these are some of my favorite blogs and Instagram feeds!