1 1/2 cups braised, shredded chicken
1/2 cup broccoli, cut into florets
2-3 (or 5-6) strips of bacon, cooked how you like
sliced onion to taste
for the braise:
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled
fresh black pepper
fat for browning the chicken
*amounts depend on how much chicken you are making, you can make extra and keep the leftovers for other things.
Rub the chicken with salt, chili powder, mustard, tarragon and pepper. Don't be shy with it. Brown it in a medium-hot pan. Add the chicken broth till it's covered halfway, add the garlic cover it, reduce heat to low and let simmer for an hour or so, till tender. When the chicken is done, take it out and shred it with a pair of forks. Mash up a clove of garlic and add that and a couple tablespoons of the braising liquid to the chicken and mix it together. Roll out the dough into an oval. Layer the chicken, broccoli, onion, bacon and cheese in a long pile down the middle of the dough. Sprinkle with paprika and more black pepper. Cut the edges of the dough into 1-2" inch long, 1" wide strips, leaving one edge still attached to the main piece. Fold the strips over the filling, alternating left and right to simulate a braid. Fold the ends over the top, pressing tightly to seal. Bake at 425 till golden brown, 15 minutes or so. Eat hot or cold.
I suppose, technically, this is a calzone kind of thing. And I've already posted about calzones once. But this is all fancy pants looking so that makes it different, right? Right. Ok then. Anyway, the reason I made this is because my girlfriend wanted a chicken, bacon and bbq sauce calzone. I didn't really want one (not that they aren't mad good) and I remembered seeing somewhere a recipe where they rolled out the dough and did this fake braid thing over some filling. Seeing as how I can't braid I wanted to give it a shot, see if it worked. And it did! It's very exciting. Unfortunately, I didn't get any pics of the process of faux-braiding. I'll have to make another one so I can re-post with better instructions. Tragic, isn't it? Heh. But I'll show you what I have.
First, we need to cook the chicken. I rubbed some boneless, skinless chicken breasts with tarragon, chili powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper. If you are doing this don't be shy with the spices, when you shred the chicken all the spices on the outside need to flavor the meat on the inside too. Plus some will come off in the braise. And then I browned it and braised it in chicken broth and garlic. Here is a more detailed look at braising, if you are interested. Once the chicken is tender pull it out and shred it with a couple of forks. Take a clove or two of the garlic from the braise, smoosh it into a paste and mix it in too, if you like. Can't imagine why you wouldn't. Heh. Also spoon some of the braising liquid onto the chicken and mix that in too, to make sure it's moist and flavorful. Now you just need to roll out your dough. Try to make it kind of an oval. Next you just pile on the goodies. Chicken, cheese, bacon, onion, pepper and paprika and finally, broccoli. You want to do the broccoli last because it holds the dough up and helps keep the cheese from oozing out. Now right around here is when my nice camera (a hand me down, bear in mind) totally crapped out on me. So I had to whip out the emergency back up camera. It works fine for middle distance, but doesn't have a close up macro, so things get a bit blurry. Another reason to make a new one of these and have another post. Heh. Anyway, you want to cut the edges of the dough into strips that are still attached to the main body. Then you just fold them over, alternating sides, to simulate a real braid. Then you fold the ends up, squish them closed and there you go. Now bake at 425, preferably on a pizza stone that's been preheating for 45 minutes or so, for 10-15 minutes or untill it's browned and luscious looking. Here is a nice blurry shot of a cross section. This was really good. I'm definitely making it again, but probably with other fillings. I think a rice mixture would be good, or potatoes. Or even a sweet filling like pieces of pound cake and a nut/chocolate paste. Then brush the top with butter and brown sugar. Hm. Yeah. That sounds good. I think I'll work on that.