Mexican Chicken Calzone with Hot Salsa and Cheese Sauce

You all know about my love for pizza, as I have blogged several pizza recipes and I can’t resist making pizza on a regular basis. This time, to spice things up a little bit and diversify from my standard thin and crispy base with gourmet toppings I have made calzone. This is not just any calzone but a breach from the norm by giving it some spice and a twist of Mexican. I have basically realised that when your food stocks are running low and you have food to use up then that is when you make the best food discoveries, as you have to be a little bit more inventive. If I was planning this recipe, or could have been bothered to go out to the shop, I probably would have added mozzarella to this recipe, what can I say I love the stringy cheese!

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Makes 2 large calzones

For the pizza dough

–          200g bread flour

–          1 tsp yeast

–          ½ tsp salt

–          120ml water

–          2 tbsp olive oil

For the Chicken

–          125g chicken – cut into strips

–          1 pinch saffron

–          ½ tsp cayenne pepper

–          ½ tsp paprika

–          2 tsp lemon juice

For the salsa sauce

–          1 yellow pepper – sliced

–          1 onion – finely chopped

–          1 tbsp olive oil

–          2 cloves garlic – crushed

–          ½ tsp cayenne pepper

–          1 tsp cumin

–          1 tsp lemon juice

–          1 tsp sugar

–          1 tbsp tomato puree

–          1 large tomato – roughly chopped

For the cheesy sauce

–          ½ pint milk

–          1 tbsp cornflour – mixed with a little water to make a paste

–          1 vegetable stock cube

–          60g emmental cheese (or a good cheddar)

Combine the flour, yeast and salt together in a bowl and make a well in the middle

Mix the oil into the warm water and pour into the well in the middle of the bowl

Stir the flour gradually into the well, bringing it in a bit at a time from the side of the bowl.

Get the dough out on a floured worktop and kneed for 5-10 minutes until smooth and elastic

Grease a clean bowl with olive oil and put the dough into this, covering with an oiled sheet of cling film

Place somewhere warm (I put mine in the airing cupboard) and leave to rise for about an hour until it has doubled in size

Preheat the oven to 180’C

Mix the ingredient for the chicken together and coat the chicken in it, leave it to marinade to 20 minutes.

Place the chicken in an oven proof dish, along with the marinade and roast for 12-15 minutes. If they are thick strips they will need to cook for longer so just cut them on half to check.

Leave the chicken to cool and then bash with a rolling pin and pull apart into strip

To make the salsa, heat the oil in a pan until hot and fry the pepper and onions for 5 minutes, or until softened.

Add the garlic and fry off for another 2 minutes, stirring so that it doesn’t burn.

Stir in the remaining salsa ingredients, bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer for 7-8 minutes until it has all come together and saucy

While this is simmering make the cheesy sauce by heating the milk in a saucepan until steaming

Stir in the corn flour mix and the crumbled stock cube and continue to stir until it thickens.

Remove from the heat, stir in the cheese and add a good twist of black pepper

When your dough has risen, divide it into 2 and roll each out into 2 circular shaped about 2mm thick.

Divide the salsa into two and spread onto one half of the pizza dough, leaving about an inch and a half around the edges

Top this with half the chicken on each and then add a few table spoons of the cheese sauce onto each; you might find you don’t need to use this all, in which case you can make a small mac and cheese or some rarebit toast with the leftovers

Turn the oven up to 210’C

Fold the uncovered half over to meet the edges and make a half moon shape and roll up the edges so that the pizza is well sealed. You may need a dab of water to seal this.

Brush each calzone with oil, place on a non-stick baking tray of pizza stone and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and crispy

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