This is a very satisfying and cheesy dinner. I made Cause Baking Makes Happy’s pizza dough recipe. Their recipe makes quite a bit of dough too, 1.5lbs. We only used half of the dough for this recipe. The other half we used for our White Pizza recipe. In both ways that we used it, the dough was very light inside and had a good crunch to the bottom of the crust. Thank you Nadja and Noemi for the recipe, it’s a good one!
To make the dough: Combine 500g flour, 1 packet of yeast and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Add 250ml water and start kneading with your hands (about 10 minutes) or use a stand mixer with a dough attachment to knead the dough (about 5 minutes). Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. Form into a ball and place it in a clean bowl that has been brushed with olive oil. Set aside and let it rest for an hour, covered with a kitchen towel.
To make the pesto: Preheat your oven to 350°F to toast 1/3cup pine nuts, it takes about 7-10 minutes. While the nuts are toasting grab the food processor, 1cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese, 2cups packed basil leaves and lemon zest (half a lemon). Combine these ingredients with the cooled pine nuts and pulse until it’s as smooth or as chunky as you like your pesto. Add 2tbl extra-virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pulse again and taste for seasoning. It should taste too strong and a little salty. It’s still going to be mixed with other ingredients so this needs to be a concentrated pesto flavor.
In a medium bowl mix the pesto with 2tbl ricotta cheese, 6oz shredded Monterey Jack cheese and one cooked chicken breast,* cubed. Taste again for salt, pepper and Parmigiano cheese. Set aside the chicken-pesto mixture and 1 egg, beaten (for the egg wash) then roll out** the pizza dough to 1/4″ thickness. Cut the dough into 2 pieces, fill the bottom half of each piece with half of the chicken-pesto mixture leaving about an inch of dough border. Brush the 2 small sides and the bottom of the dough with egg wash. Fold over the top part of the dough and press out any air as you seal and crimp the edges.
Transfer the calzones with the parchment paper to a sheet tray. Brush the tops with the egg wash and make 3 slits across the top of each one with a pairing knife.
Bake 20-30 minutes, until golden brown. Let it cool for at least 5 minutes before you eat it.
* We grilled our chicken breast on high for 5-6 minutes per side. But feel free to use leftover or rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for this recipe.
** My new favorite way to roll out dough is to put the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper and then roll it out. Makes for easy clean up!
500g all-purpose flour
1 packet dry yeast
pinch of salt
olive oil, for brush the bowl
1/3cup pine nuts
1cup Parmigiano cheese, grated
2cup basil leaves, packed
2tbl extra-virgin olive oil
lemon zest, from half a lemon
2tbl ricotta cheese
6oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cooked chicken breast, cubed