Get ready to experience the perfect harmony of flavors with my delectable Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Calzones. These pockets of pure deliciousness are a delightful twist on the classic Italian calzones. Imagine biting into a crispy, homemade crust, revealing a savory filling of juicy chicken and roasted red peppers, infused with aromatic herbs and spices. This recipe is a testament to the magic that happens when simple ingredients come together. So, roll up your sleeves, put on your chef’s hat, and let’s embark on an unforgettable culinary journey.
Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Calzones
- 1 paper bag
- 1 non-stick skillet
- 1 small bowl
- 1 pound fresh pizza dough, cut into four pieces and rolled into four separate balls (homemade or store bought)
- 3 tablespoons cornmeal
- 2 large red bell peppers*
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced or pressed
- 12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup fat free ricotta cheese
- 4 ounces low fat part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon dried parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- Set the oven to broil. Sprinkle a baking sheet with the cornmeal to keep your dough from sticking. Set aside.
- To Roast the Peppers: Poke each pepper 4 or 5 times with a knife and place them directly on the top rack of the oven. Broil for about 3 to 4 minutes per side (15 - 20 minutes total) until the skins sre slightly blistered and almost black.
- Using tongs, carefully remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a paper bag. Close the bag and set it aside.
- Change the oven temperature to 400 degrees. Cut the chicken breasts into strips and rub them with the olive oil, and then the garlic and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium high heat in a non-stick skillet for about 8 minutes (or until practically cooked through). Set chicken aside.
- Remove the peppers from the bag and peel off the skin, then cut into strips; discard the stems and seeds.
- In a small bowl, mix the ricotta, mozzarella, parsley, and garlic powder. Press the dough balls into flat circles. Distribute the cheese mix, chicken and peppers over half of each circle - leaving 1/2 inch border around the edges. Using your finger, rub water over the edges. Carefully fold and stretch the bare half over the filling. Press the edges with your fingers to seal well.
- Transfer the calzones to the baking sheet, leaving at least an inch between them. Poke each top 3 or 4 times with a fork to allow steam to escape while baking. Bake for 20 minutes. Top with your favorite pizza sauce and enjoy~
Let’s dive into some handy cooking tips that will help you master the art of preparing Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Calzones. These tips and tricks will ensure that your calzones turn out perfectly every time, with a crispy crust and a flavorful filling.
- The Perfect Dough:
To achieve a light and airy calzone crust, make sure to use warm water when preparing the dough. This helps activate the yeast and allows the dough to rise beautifully. Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic, and let it rest in a warm place to double in size before rolling it out.
- Filling Distribution:
Evenly distribute the chicken and roasted red pepper filling on one side of the rolled-out dough, leaving a border around the edges. This ensures that each bite is filled with a balanced combination of flavors. Avoid overstuffing the calzones as it may lead to leakage during baking.
- Proper Sealing:
To prevent any filling from oozing out, ensure a tight seal when closing the calzones. Press the edges firmly together and crimp them using a fork or your fingers. Brushing the edges with a beaten egg or water helps create a secure seal and adds a beautiful golden color to the crust.
- Bake to Perfection:
Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature and place the calzones on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake them until they turn a gorgeous golden brown, which usually takes around 20-25 minutes. Keep a close eye on them to avoid over-browning.
Serving Your Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Calzones
Now that your Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Calzones are ready to be enjoyed, let’s explore some exciting serving suggestions that will elevate your dining experience. These suggestions will help you pair the calzones with complementary flavors and present them in creative and appealing ways.
- Side Delights:
Serve your calzones with a refreshing side salad of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and a tangy vinaigrette dressing. The crispness of the salad adds a pleasant contrast to the warm and savory calzones. You can also offer a bowl of hot tomato soup for a comforting combination.
- Flavorful Dips:
Accompany your calzones with a selection of delicious dips such as marinara sauce, garlic aioli, or pesto. These flavorful dips enhance the taste of the calzones and provide an extra layer of richness. Offer a variety of dips to cater to different preferences and let your guests explore their favorite combinations.
- Creative Presentations:
Get creative with how you serve your calzones. Arrange them on a wooden board, garnished with fresh basil leaves and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese. This rustic presentation adds an inviting touch to your table. Alternatively, serve individual mini-calzones as appetizers at your next gathering.
- Pairing Beverages:
To complement the flavors of the calzones, pair them with beverages that accentuate the meal. Serve a chilled glass of white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Chardonnay, for a refreshing and crisp taste. If you prefer non-alcoholic options, try sparkling water infused with lemon or a fruity iced tea.
As you explore the world of Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Calzones, you may have some questions in mind. Let’s address the most common queries related to this delicious dish and provide you with the answers you seek.
Can I store leftovers of Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Calzones?
Absolutely! To store leftover calzones, allow them to cool completely, then wrap them tightly in aluminum foil or store them in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 3 days. When ready to enjoy again, reheat them in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through.
Can I freeze Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Calzones?
Yes, you can freeze the calzones for longer storage. Once cooled, wrap them individually in plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe bag. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. To reheat, bake them directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the baking time.
How can I prevent the filling from leaking?
To prevent filling leakage, ensure a proper seal when closing the calzones. Press the edges firmly together and crimp them well. Additionally, avoid overstuffing the calzones, as this can lead to filling spilling out during baking. Proper sealing and moderate filling quantities will help prevent leaks.
Can I use store-bought dough?
Yes, you can use store-bought pizza dough or refrigerated crescent roll dough as a time-saving alternative. Follow the package instructions for rolling and baking. However, homemade dough provides a fresher and more customizable taste.
Can I customize the filling?
Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite ingredients to the filling to suit your taste. Consider incorporating sautéed onions, mushrooms, or different types of cheese for added flavor and variety.
Join me as I share my tried-and-true recipe for Chicken and Roasted Red Pepper Calzones. From expert cooking tips to serving suggestions that will impress your guests, this blog post has it all. Be sure to share the recipe with your friends and subscribe to stay updated on future mouthwatering recipes!