Buffalo Chicken Calzones

I’d been planning this for a while. You know how it goes… you put a recipe on the to-do/to-make list, forget to get the ingredients and have to wait till the next shopping trip because you don’t want to go back out. Well then you get all of the ingredients but one major one, uhm… the chicken. Yeah, it’s kind of a key ingredient. I swear this took me several weeks to finally get around to making. But when I did get around to making it… wow, it was easy, fun and smelled great!

Now let me clearly state that as with many other items I sometimes make and share, this was not for me. Hubs is the buffalo fan. I’m a bbq fan. So when I mixed up the pizza dough, half went to my dinner … bbq chicken pizza¬†and the other half was reserved to make these calzones the next day. Note that I didn’t use the dough from the linked pizza. I used this delicious quick and thick pizza dough.

The final result – well, if you love anything buffalo chicken then you’ll love this. I mean it’s basically just buffalo chicken pizza but wrapped up. Very easy to make and serves a crowd, if you want it to. Using half of the dough, I made two fairly large calzones and then cut those into 4 thick slices each. So you could easily make two jumbo calzones with the full amount of dough, 4 large or just split the dough like I did. Either reserve half of the dough, tossing it in a freezer safe bag until you’re ready to use or make a pizza with the other half right then. Slice size can vary greatly too. So really… great for dinner or a party! What’s great too is if you make several calzones, you can change up the variety with each!

Please note that the ingredients listed below are for half a batch of dough, but it is a ton easier to make a full batch. Save half for later, double the other ingredients to make more buffalo calzones or make another type of calzone with the other dough. It’s your choice what to do with the extra dough…it won’t go bad! Use right away, store in the fridge for a few days or pop in the freezer until ready to use – then simply thaw.

Buffalo Chicken Calzones

Ingredients:

1/2 batch pizza dough* (see note)
2C cubed chicken breast** (see note)
1/2C+ Buffalo sauce, divided (I used Frank's Red Hot buffalo wing sauce)
1/4C chunky blue cheese dressing
1C mozzarella cheese, shredded
1C mild cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

If prepping dough a day ahead, do so following the directions. Keep in a greased and covered bowl after the full rise time. Toss in the fridge until ready to use. Pull out of the fridge 45-60 minutes before making your calzones.

Prepare chicken by trimming any fat and cutting into bite size cubes. Toss cubed chicken into a bowl or food safe storage container. Top off with 3 tbsp buffalo sauce. Stir to coat. Cover container with plastic wrap or lid. Store in the fridge to marinate overnight.

If making dough the day of, follow directions - plan for the dough to take at least 1hr and 10-15min total. It's a quick dough but does still require rising time. You can let the dough rise for the full hour, split and rise again if desired.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium high heat. Cook chicken and additional 2 tbsp buffalo sauce. Stir well, cooking chicken for 5-10 minutes or until fully cooked. Transfer to a clean bowl. Add an additional 1/4C buffalo sauce to chicken. Stir to coat. Set aside.

Prepare a baking sheet with one of the following: silpat, parchment, olive oil or cornmeal. Choose which works best for you. I opted for my silpat. Divide dough into as many portions as you'd like. I made two (out of the half a batch of dough*). Stretch dough into a large circle or rectangle. It doesn't have to be perfect. Let gravity help as well as pushing on the dough gently while resting on your prepared baking sheet. Flip and continue process until you are satisfied with the size.

Coat one half of the dough with chunky blue cheese dressing - almost to the edge but not quiet. Top off with cooked buffalo chicken.
Sprinkle with a mixture of both cheeses - roughly a handful will do. If making two or more calzones, keep this in mind as you grab and sprinkle the cheese... make sure you're leaving plenty for the other(s).

Fold over the dough. Roll and pinch the edges to seal. Sprinkle with a touch more cheese.

Repeat process with remaining dough and ingredients on a second baking sheet. I actually cooked mine at separate times. While the first was baking, I prepped the next.

Bake for 12-15 minutes. I found 13 minutes was just perfect. Let cool for a few minutes, then cut with a serrated knife into as many slices as desired.

Serve warm and enjoy.

*Dough can be made ahead of time and chilled or made the same day.
**Chicken requires overnight marinating - figure this into your recipe plans.