You know what they say about wearing white after Labor Day . . .
. . . And how creamy white sauces coating human mouthal cavities are the exception?
THEY SAY IT, I SWEAR.
Can I just tell you how hard I love the fall? I do. I’m not going to get all wax-a-laxy about it, but yesterday they were interviewing some dude on NPR about summer reading and how he didn’t get through his list (Uh, me too because my attention span is that of a hummingbird on meth) and he said something that sucker-punched my eardrums. He said something like, “autumn is a time of permission.” Or maybe it was, “you’re allowed to slow down during the fall.” Crap, I’m messing it all up! Obviously I was paying attention.
Anyway, when he said it I thought, “omg my post tomorrow has homemade dough and that’s perfect for fall because I slowed down long enough to actually make it from scratch and get flour on the counters and sticky dough on my rings and I didn’t even miiiiiiiiiiiiiiindaaaa.”
It’s the whole, stop and smell the roses thing, ya know. Even though the roses have long crisped up and died in the drought and there are little bright orange-ish red rose hips in its place.
Oh! Stop and flick the rose hips! PATENT PENDING.
Points are: (you honestly didn’t think I’d have just one, did you?)
a) Leftover chicken is the answer to all life’s problems. Really, shred it up and call it good.
b) Roasted garlic white cream sauce might as well run for mayor of my mouth. I mean are you EVEN seeing all the caressing of the broccoli right there under these words?
c) And get this. This meal is a total “stop and flick the rose hips” venture, AT THE SAME TIME being super quick for school nights. Get the dough made ahead of time, roast the garlic early on, ba.da.bam. It’s like an early autumn miracle!
And let’s just ignore my hillbilly pinching skills.
We’ll call these . . . homey. Natural, rusti – GAH it is seriously sad.
Oh and, prepare to never want to eat anything else ever again for the rest of eternity.
White is SO your mouth’s color.
Creamy Chicken and Broccoli Calzones:
What it took for 2 calzones:
for the dough:
* 1 cup warm water
* 1 tsp honey
* 1 package dry active yeast
* 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 tsp salt
for the filling:
* 1 tsp olive oil
* 1 head garlic
* 2 Tbs. butter
* 2 Tbs. flour
* 1 cup milk
* 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
* 3 cups shredded chicken (leftover is fine! so is a rotis.)
* 2 Tbs. lemon zest
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup water with the honey and dry yeast. Let sit about 3 minutes until the yeast starts to bubble.
In a bigger bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the oil, the yeast mixture and the remaining 3/4 cup water. Mix to combine and knead the dough until it’s soft and elastic, about 5 minutes.
Place the dough ball in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for an hour.
After an hour, divide the dough into 4 balls. You can throw the leftover two in the freezer if you want, or keep going for 4 calzones. (just increase the filling) Place them into 4 smaller, oiled bowls and let rise another 15 minutes.
Roll out each dough ball until it’s 10-12 inches in diameter, like a pizza. You’re ready for the filling!
While the dough is rising, preheat oven to 425.
Lop the stem end of the garlic off, exposing the cloves. Place inside a small square of aluminum foil, drizzle with oil, fold up and roast 35 minutes.
In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Once the foam subsides, whisk in the flour. Continue to whisk about 2 minutes, until it starts to brown. Whisk in the milk and keep whisking until it thickens and get creamy. Toss in a pinch of salt and pepper. Transfer to a small food processor, add the roasted garlic cloves, and blitz until combined and gorgeous. Stick your finger in that. Uuuuuuuuuuugh.
Adjust the oven to 375.
Spoon some of the creamy sauce along the bottom of each crust. Top with shredded chicken and broccoli florets. Spoon more of the sauce (I’d say about 5 Tbs. total in each calzone, or more if you want!) over the chicken and broccoli. Sprinkle with the lemon zest.
Roll over the dough, creating a calzone. Transfer ‘zones (sorry) to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush each one with a light egg wash or extra-virgin olive oil.
Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown.
Let rest 5 minutes (faaaaaaaaat chance), slice and devour.
Hot pockeeet! (name that comedian)