Friday, March 12, 2010

Chicken and Rapini Calzones

My husband's aunt, who is from Calabria, Italy, brought a delicious pork and rapini treat encased in a fabulous crust to our Easter gathering last year. Each region in Southern Italy has a different way of stuffing their calzone. I have been craving this dish since, so I created this recipe for indulging. Steamed chicken is used for a very tender filling. The whole wheat crust is studded with rosemary and roasted garlic for an incredibly flavorful savory pastry.

2 cups (240g) whole wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup (168g) unsalted butter, cubed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 whole head of roasted garlic, skins removed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons cold water
1 egg white, for glazing

1 large (150g) boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 1/2 cups (100g) rapini (broccoli rabe), roughly chopped
1/4 cup (62g) part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 cup (28g) part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

In the bowl of a food processor, fit with the metal blade, pulse to combine flour, butter, rosemary, garlic and salt until the mixture becomes pea size crumbles. Add water, one tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the mixture forms a ball of dough. Wrap the ball in cling film and refrigerate it while you prepare the filling.

In a large pot fit with a steamer basket, bring 1-inch of water to a boil. Once water boils, steam chicken for 12 minutes or until the breast registers a temperature of 170°. Remove chicken. Add rapini and steam for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander.

Preheat oven to 425°. Dice the steamed chicken and combine with the rapini, cheeses and salt. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out 5-inch diameter circles. Place about 3 tablespoons of filling into the center of each round. Fold one half of the dough over the filling and use a fork (or dough press) to secure the edges together. Brush egg white over the top of each pastry. Bake for 25 minutes.

To roast garlic: When I roast vegetables I add a couple of heads of garlic to my baking sheet to use for flavoring dishes later in the week. Preheat the oven to 425°. Slice a little off the top of the garlic to reveal the cloves, but leave the bulb intact otherwise. Bake for 35 minutes.

Makes 8 pies

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