OK, so I know I’ve been posting a lot of decadent stuff lately… what can I say? It’s just that time of year. Sorry I’m not sorry?
This recipe is no exception. Buffalo chicken is one of my most favorite flavors EVER, and I’m always trying to come up with ways to incorporate it into new dishes. These calzones were inspired by a stromboli that Dan and I recently discovered.
We have been on a major stromboli kick lately. I don’t know how it started, because we almost always order pizza at least once a week (usually on Sundays for football). I guess we were growing tired of pizza? No, that can’t be right. That’s impossible. I think we just wanted to switch it up.
We started off ordering an AH-MAZING stromboli from a local pizza place. It was loaded to the brim with pepperoni, ham, and loads of mozzarella cheese. Classic. Delicious.
THEN, we noticed that there was a buffalo chicken stromboli on the menu. I insisted, complete with excited arm flailing, that it happen. SO, we ordered it, and I was completely blown away. It was one of the most delicious, addicting things I had ever stuffed into my face. The bleu cheese dressing used for dipping took it over the top!
I decided to try it out at home. Except in calzone form…just because they are a little bit smaller and thus easier to assemble than stromboli.
These are incredible. Gooey, doughy, and oozing with yumminess. The buffalo sauce gives them that familiar kick of tangy spice that I love, and the cheese and dressing just make them oh-so-indulgent. The dough puffs up around the filling, staying crispy on the outside and light and doughy on the inside. Perfection.
Now, a lot of times, I love the flavors of RANCH dressing with anything buffalo, but in this case, I stick with the bleu stuff. If you’re not a bleu fan, you can definitely swap in Ranch dressing instead. You’ll still get a nice creamy tang.
So even though you might be mad at me for overloading you with “treat” dishes lately, once you make these, you’ll love me again. I hope. If not, take comfort in the fact that I will be sharing a fairly healthy soup recipe with you soon. Stay tuned!
1 lb of pizza dough (see this post for my go-to recipe)
2 medium chicken breasts, diced
½ cup buffalo hot sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup bleu cheese or ranch dressing
Flour and cornmeal, for preparing the dough
1½ cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Extra buffalo hot sauce or dressing, for dipping
In a large resealable plastic bag, place the chicken and the buffalo sauce. Toss to coat and then allow to marinate for at least 6 hours in the fridge (I often do this before I leave for work in the mornings – then it’s ready for me when I get home. Overnight works too!).
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken and any residual sauce into the skillet. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until all the chicken is cooked through. Allow to cool in the pan. Once the chicken is mostly cool, stir in the bleu cheese (or ranch) dressing.
Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 475°F. Sprinkle cornmeal on a pizza peel. Alternatively, lightly oil a large baking sheet.
Divide the dough into six balls. Roll each dough ball out to ¼-inch thickness. Working with one at a time, sprinkle ¼ cup of cheddar cheese on one half of the dough round, then some of the chicken, and finally ¼ cup of the mozzarella cheese. Brush the edges of the dough with egg wash, and then carefully fold the dough over the filling. Press the edges to seal and trim off excess dough.
Carefully transfer the calzone to the prepared pizza peel (or baking sheet) and then cut a slit in the top to allow air to escape. Brush the top with more egg wash and sprinkle with sea salt. If using a pizza peel, work with the calzones in batches of 2-3. If using a baking sheet, you can probably fit all of the calzones on the sheet at one time (depending on the size).
Place the calzones in the oven and bake for 11-13 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before slicing in half and serving. Dip as desired.