I know that typical American calzones are much more stuffed and overflowing with cheese than the one pictured above, but don't let the simplicity fool you. This baby was jam-packed with amazing flavor and was the perfect texture. My flavor-addict husband raved about it and even my picky eaters asked for seconds.
If you've been keeping up on recent posts, you'll know that pizza is like crack to me. Seriously - does life get better than warm, fluffy pizza crust slathered with tomatoes and cheese? Throw in some pineapples and I might just marry you. *drool* So, if you are as pizza-addicted as I am, I know you'll love this calzone.
Have you ever seen someone eat a slice of pizza folded in half like a taco? My dad ate his pizza like that and I always thought it was so funny. It just seemed like he was trying to find the most efficient way to get the pizza into his stomach, instead of savoring each bite. Kind of like when my husband throws a whole handful of M&M's in his mouth. He can go through a bag in 5 minutes. It takes me at least a week.
Back to folding pizza in half... a calzone is the perfect solution to you efficient pizza folders because it's basically just a pizza folded in half. Pizza dough is used, but instead of spreading the toppings all over the pizza, the toppings are spread on one half and the other half is folded over and sealed, trapping all of the yumminess inside. For this version, I used BBQ Sauce (and bacon!!!), but traditional pizza sauce and mozzarella make a really good meal, too.
This recipe makes 2 large calzones... which I thought would serve my family for two nights. Wrong. It was so delicious they all went back for seconds... and thirds... They would have gone for fourths but it was long gone by then!
10 slices bacon
1 small onion, chopped
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast meat (about 2 lbs)
1 cup barbecue sauce + more for dipping
1 recipe perfect pizza dough made just until the 1 1/2 hours of rising time is over
8-16 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese (we did 8 ounces to be a little healthier, but cheesier always tastes better!)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees with a pizza stone (or pizza pan) inside.
Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from the pan to drain on paper towels; crumble. Add the onion to the hot bacon grease in the pan. Fry over medium heat until onion is tender. Add and shredded chicken and stir in 1 cup of barbecue sauce, and remove from the heat. Mix in the cooked bacon.
On a sheet of parchment paper, roll one pizza dough into a 16"circle.* Do the same to the second pizza dough. Divide the chicken mixture between the two circles of dough, spreading on only half of each piece to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Sprinkle the cheese and cilantro over the top. Wet the uncovered edges of the pizza circle. Fold the uncovered portion of dough over the filling, and press the edges together with your fingers or a fork to seal. Spread oilive oil over surface with a basting brush. Cut two slits in the top for air to escape.
Lift parchment paper with one calzone onto hot pizza stone in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until browned to your liking. Cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve with extra barbecue sauce for dipping.
*You can just roll it out onto a counter sprinkled generously with cornmeal or flour, but the parchment paper makes transferring to and removing from the hot pizza pan so much easier.