Recipes from two guys who have always loved cooking.
Cooking is so satisfying when you are able to not only answer the question “what do you want to eat?” but also when you are actually able to make what you want. Let’s be honest, we can’t order everything we want in a single restaurant. Sometime it’s just inconvenient to drive to the only place that serves your favorite snack. That’s why I fall back on my cooking. I don’t claim to know everything, but it’s a nice to have an range of understanding that let’s you create anything you want. Except I am terrible at baking. I…just…can’t…bake.
This is a perfect example of remembering eating something really good and then making it. What’s your favorite thing to get at Costco? The 3 lbs of pico de gallo? The 30 pack frozen burritos? Well I used to love chicken bakes. I haven’t had one in probably half a decade. But I do remember how they taste. The idea really came to me when I was deciding what kind of Calzone I wanted to make (that’s for later). I also remember, that chicken bakes are just bad for you. Alot of fat and salt. So thinking about how to make it healthier without compromising taste, I didn’t make any substitutes. It’s like substituting cheese on pizza with a soy product–it might taste good, but it is not the same. But I said to myself, I’m making the filling with fresh chicken and I know what exactly is going into it. That was good enough for me.
Let’s get on with it. What you will need: pizza dough, chicken breasts, bacon, green onions, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, and casear dressing. I added baby portabella mushrooms for good measure. For the pizza dough, if you don’t know how to make your own, Trader Joes has raw dough that is pretty good. I made my own because I have a ton of yeast from when I lived with Caitlin who baked, alot. We used a pizza dough recipe from Epicurious.com (link can be found in the comments).
For the filling: Cut the chicken breats into small chunks. Next time I make this, I am going to finely ground the chicken but it doesnt really matter. Season chicken with salt, pepper, chili powder, and garlic powder to your own taste. Chop bacon into bits–I used an uncured bacon from Trader Joes because it has less salt. Put the bacon into a pan heated on medium and fry until they are browned and crisp. Drain to a paper towel, and drain most of the bacon fat. Increase the heat to medium high and throw in your chicken chunks and saute. Add mushrooms if you decide to have them too. Once cooked through set aside.
For assembly: roll out your dough in a large square so that it is about half a centimeter thick. Now you decide how to partition this into rectangles. Just remember when we are closing the rolls, they will need to over lap slightly, requiring pinching to close. Too much overlap and you’ll get too much dough. Once you have the partitions, generously spread with caesar dressing, cheese, bacon and chopped green onion, leaving a half a centimeter edge to the dough. Now add a line of the chicken in the center and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Again, add enough so that you can fold up the sides with a small amount of overlap. Fold the long sides up and pitch closed. You can leave the ends open. This might take a while to get right, it took me one test bake to get it right. Brush with olive oil and place on a flat baking sheet fold side down. Now bake for about 10 minutes at 400 F, and then brush with dressing on the top and sprinkle with more mozzarella cheese. Bake for about another 8 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
This is an extremely versatile recipe. Make any kind of filling you want. I will probably do a meat ball and marinara, or even a breakfast one with scramble eggs, ham, and cheese. Cheers!