March 10, 2013

Ham and Chicken Calzones

Here in Borongan, where we live, the choice of good restaurants is very limited, so J and I cook at home all the time. We've been on a clean-eating diet since January, but every Wednesday is our "cheat day." This past Wednesday, we were craving some pizza (and pizza places here are terrible), so we decided to make calzones. A calzone, for those who don't know, is basically a pizza folded in half.

When it comes to cooking, J and I are pretty much polar opposites. I like to follow recipes; he just makes stuff up. I guess I'm lucky to have a husband who can cook, since 98% of the time the things he creates come out good. When we combine our efforts in the kitchen, we usually make some delicious stuff. I don't mean to brag, but these calzones are no exception.

For this recipe, I made the dough and J made the filling. You might notice from the picture that these things are absolutely GIGANTIC. Underestimating the size of the dough, we just split it in 2, which gave us calzones that could easily feed 3-4 people. Instead of doing that, we recommend dividing the dough in 4 to make 4 regular-sized calzones that work well as a hearty portion for 1 and can even be shared.

Here's our recipe*:

Chicken and Ham Calzones
{Printable Recipe}

Makes 4 calzones

The Dough
    1 (.25 oz) packet of active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp)
    1 1/3 cups warm water (110°F - 115°F)
    ¼ cup vegetable oil
    ½ tsp salt
    3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Mix until smooth. Stir in enough flour to form a soft dough (for me, it was about 3.5 Cups altogether). Knead dough until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

The Filling
    5 small to medium-sized bulbs of garlic
    Oil {to brush the garlic with}, Olive oil is best, but any kind will do
    3 Cups tomato paste
    2 boneless chicken breasts
    10 slices deli ham, chopped
    10 green olives, pitted and sliced
    2 Teaspoons Chili powder or cayenne pepper
    1/2 Cup grated parmesan cheese
    1/3 Cup white vinegar
    1 Tablespoon Oregano
    1 Tablespoon sugar (we've got light brown cane sugar here, but white table sugar works fine)
    1 Tablespoon salt

1. Roast the garlic. Cut the top off of each bulb, or just split them open.  Slightly separate the cloves, trying not to break them off.  Drizzle a little bit of oil over each bulb, or use a brush to coat them more evenly. Bake at 390°F (200°C) for about 20 minutes.  To check it, smash a clove with a fork.  It should be soft and mushy.

2. While the garlic is cooling, prepare the chicken breast by quickly browning it on all sides in a very hot pan.  Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and mix them in a bowl with the chili powder and a couple pinches of salt.

3. Squeeze the garlic into a bowl (it should pop right out of the skin with no problem).  Mash it up with a fork until you get sort of a garlic paste. Mix this garlic paste together with the tomato paste in a pan over low heat.  Add in the vinegar gradually while stirring.  It should thin out the mixture and help everything blend better.

4. Add in the meat, along with the salt, sugar, oregano, olives, and Parmesan cheese.  If your filling is too thick, you can add a little bit more vinegar, or just use water, to thin it out.  The consistency should be a bit thicker than a typical American-style spaghetti sauce.  However your filling tastes at this point is pretty much how it's going to taste in your calzone, so try it and season to taste.

The Calzone

1. Punch the dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece out as thin as you can get it without tons of holes, at least as thin as a pencil. Your calzones will be prettier if you've rolled out the dough in nice circles.

2. Place about 1/4 of the filling mix on one side of the dough and fold the other side over the top. Press the edges together where they meet and roll upwards just a bit to seal.

3. Sprinkle a little bit of Parmesan on top, place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper), and bake in the oven at 400°F for 25 minutes. The edges should just be starting to brown slightly.

*A few notes:
-We don't have access to any real cheese here, so we just used the grated parmesan stuff that comes in a plastic container-- it still turned out great. Feel free to use other cheeses (i.e. mozzarella or provolone).
-You can add/substitute whatever you like in the filling (like black olives instead of green, add bell peppers, use pepperoni, etc.- whatever you like on your pizza).



Now that I've typed this recipe up-- I'm craving this again! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. And if you try our recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out for you.

Well I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead! I know my week will be filled with lots of... well- relaxing! =)



22 comments :

  1. Thank you for linking up to The Great Blog Train! We loved having you! And you helped us have a successful third run down the tracks!

    Helen@blueeyedbeautyblogg.blogspot.com
    Angie@godsgrowinggarden.com
    Marci@stonecottageadventures.com

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  2. This looks good, I love Calzone! Thanks for sharing. I'm visiting today from Let's Get Social Sunday.

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  3. We often make pizza but have yet to make calzones. That must change--these look delicious.

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    Replies
    1. Calzones are easy to make! It's worth a try. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. Hey there, I'm Allison! Found you through the blog hop and I can't wait to see more of your blog! I love it so far. (: This is only my second blog hop, so I'm extremely excited!

    Also. This food looks delicious. Dear goodness. I'm full just looking at them, haha.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I'm new at blog hopping, too-- but I'm really enjoying it, I think you will too! I'm meeting a lot of new fellow bloggers, it's really great.

      These calzones are definitely really filling! Thanks for following-- I'm following you back on GFC & Twitter!

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  5. I always believe that cooking at home is better than eating out. I can't wait to try your recipe. I just add this to my Pinterest.

    Regards,
    Honeybee
    http://herweightlossdiary.blogspot.com/

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    Replies
    1. I totally agree with you! & thanks for stopping by and pinning! Let me know how you like the recipe.

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  6. I love all the ingredients for the filling and am glad to see a recipe for the dough as well :-) Thank you for linking your post at the ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS party !

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  7. This looks fantastic! Would love to try this out, thanks for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! & thanks for stopping by!

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  8. mmmm, sounds great! I've been on the search for the perfect homemade pizza crust, so I may have to try this one out! I had to laugh at you and your hubs with the recipes. My hubs and I are the same way.. he follows the recipes exactly and I'm lucky if I read the whole thing! =)

    Thanks for sharing this at the Oh HAPPY Day party!

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    Replies
    1. lol, I wish I could be more like that in the kitchen! I'm working on it though. & this dough recipe is pretty good & easy!

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  9. Thanks for the recipe, I have never made calzones, so this will give me something to try out on the family :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Alicia! These are really easy to make. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

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  10. Hi! Followed you over from Seven Alive blog hop. This looks delicious, although I must admit I am not the type to make home made dough and would cheat on that part by buying the dough, but I might need to give this a try :) Now following via GFC.

    Jackie
    www.thenonmarthamomma.com

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Jackie! I'm sure store-bought dough would be just as good! =)

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  11. in the Philippines! Fun... We live in HK so we are practically neighbors... :o) Came over from MY Turn For US...would love for you to stop by my blog www.nap-timecreations.com...

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  12. Hi Lovely. I'm your newest follower from Blog Hop.
    Love to try out new recipe. Yum! Your blog is awesome.
    Feel free to visit and follow me @ www.revampspunkyrena.com

    xoxo
    Rena

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  13. The calzones look delicious. My husband and I have a good split of kitchen duties. I'm the savory cook and he is the baker. It works out well. Love to hear about a couple that both enjoy cooking.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Diane! It's awesome having a significant other who can cook, especially when both of you work together well in a kitchen!

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  14. YUM! That looks delicious Leia!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you link up tomorrow evening!

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