I have been accused of using the word “epic” too frequently, but that may well be true here.
My original dinner plans for tonight included an interesting looking alfredo pasta with artichoke hearts. But then I ran across THIS RECIPE and decided to go above and beyond.
This was the result: Chicken Bacon Artichoke Spinach Calzones
So how did these decadent, probably mostly bad for you calzones come to be?
I mostly followed Kristen’s dough recipe (see above link), but here is my version:
Makes 8 good-sized calzones (we doubled the recipe so we had extras to freeze).
- 2/12 cups flour, plus about 1/4-1/2 for thickening and more for dusting the work surface
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 2 tbsp 2% milk
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 tsp chopped fresh basil or 2 tbsp dried basil
- 1/2 cu butter, melted (for brushing)
- 2 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 pkg frozen artichoke hearts (about 6oz) or 1/2 can heart quarters (I prefer frozen, use canned if you like the pickled kind)
- 1 1/2-2 large handfuls of baby spinach, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 4 slices of bacon, preferably thick cut
- Approximately 1/2 pkg of Philadelphia Cooking Cream (plain or Italian Herb and Cheese)
- Approximately 2 cups of cheese–I used an Italian Blend but you can use just mozzarella or jack.
Preheat your oven to 350F. Combine flour, sugar, and basil in a mixing bowl. Pour in 1/2 cu melted butter, milk, eggs, and warm water, and mix well. Add a little bit of flour as needed to stiffen up the dough until it is a good bread consistency–not sticking to you, but not too stiff to work either. Set dough aside.
Combine the other 1/2 cup melted butter and 2 chopped garlic cloves. Set aside, you will use this to brush the finished calzones.
Cook the bacon. Do not overcook–just until it is brown enough that it will crumble. Set aside on a paper towel.
If you have a cook-in-the-bag package of frozen artichokes, cook in the microwave one minute less than directed. Drain, chop into smaller pieces. If you are using a can of artichokes, just drain them and chop. Set aside.
Dice the chicken and cook chicken, garlic and onion in olive oil over medium heat until chicken is cooked through and garlic is fragrant. Salt and pepper to taste (I used lemon pepper). Remove chicken mixture from pan with a slotted spoon and move to a large bowl. Crumble bacon into mixture. Add chopped spinach and cooked artichokes. Mix well to combine.
Flour a flat work surface area. Separate the dough into eight equal parts. Roll each part into a roughly 6″ circle. Fill with about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture, a tbsp of the cooking cream, and 1/4 cup of the cheese, all in the center of the circle. Fold dough in half and seal the edges tightly, then crimp with a fork. Brush each calzone with garlic butter.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve immediately with ranch or garlic butter, or freeze for future box lunches.