I’ve decided the best thing to do with leftover roast chicken is…. stuff it into pizza dough with bacon, onions, and some Caesar dressing and make chicken bakes! Okay, there are lots of other things you can do. But chicken bakes are easy and portable and filling. And they remind me of the absolute perfection that is Costco’s chicken bakes.
The filling smells so good on the stove and even better once it starts baking in the oven. It’s a great lunch or dinner (or snack if you have a big enough appetite). I’m sure you can do any kind of filling variation too. I mean, it’s just a filling rolled up in pizza dough. But I’m happy with bacon, chicken, Caesar dressing, and cheese. You could probably sub with ranch dressing too.
Portable is great cuz that means you can munch along [carefully] while writing your Christmas cards or getting your shopping list prepped. I’m so psyched this year, guys. This year, I joined an Xmas card list that is run by one of the authors I read (Katie MacAlister). So, you get put on a list of 10 people from around the country- some even around the world- and you send 9-10 cards out. More if you really want. Then you sit back and watch 10 (or more) come back to you!
Psh, you say, why would anyone want to write cards to a bunch of strangers?? Because sending and receiving holiday cards has become a lost art. And I think it is pretty cool to have nothing but a favorite book series in common to bring people together. Also, who doesn’t love receiving personal mail in the mail? A bright red envelope is sure welcome amidst the bills and junk mail.
So get those cards out. Get your shopping done. Then kick back and relax with one of these babies. Cuz having an extra hand means holding your phone/remote/drink/dog/cards/pen in the other. Maybe not dog… she’ll just want to eat your chicken bake. Definitely not the dog. Maybe the TV remote- time to break out the Christmas movies!
Homemade Chicken Bakes
Adapted from: Redefined Mom
1 tube Pillsbury pizza dough
1 1/2 cups roast chicken or cooked chicken, shredded or cut into cubes
2-3 strips of bacon
1/3 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 stems of green onion, chopped
4 tablespoons Caesar dressing, divided
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, divided (or more if you really want it cheesy)
1 egg, beaten (for egg wash)
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Fry bacon in a medium pan until about three quarters or almost done. (You’ll be cooking it a couple more times before you eat it). Let it drain on paper towels then chop it up. Drain most of the bacon grease out of the pan but keep a little to cook with.
Saute the onion and garlic in the bacon grease for a few minutes until the onion starts looking translucent. Then add the chopped bacon and cook for a few more minutes until the onion is soft. Season with salt and pepper (I threw in a little chili powder here too.) Add the chicken and cook until chicken is warmed through.
Dump the chicken mixture into a bowl, add the green onion and 2 tablespoons of Caesar dressing. Fold together. Taste- season if necessary. Set aside.
Pop open the pizza dough onto a floured surface. Give yourself space and something to roll with. Cut the dough in half- you will be making two big bakes. Roll out into a flat rectangle. Ideally, it would be a 7″x5″, but roll it out more cuz it’ll shrink back. Brush with Caesar dressing. Carefully spoon half of the chicken mixture onto the dough,* Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of parmesan cheese (or more if you want). Repeat with second half of dough.
*The picture has the chicken on half of the dough. I found that putting it all in the middle worked better for an overall thinner dough around the filling, rather than rolling it over on itself. Your choice though.
Take the short end of the dough and pull it over the chicken mixture all the way to the other end. Let a little bit overlap and gently pinch the ends together. It might stretch out as you roll it and that’s normal. Alternatively, you can have the filling on one end of the dough and roll it up like an egg roll or burrito.
Brush the top of the bakes with the egg wash and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on the tops.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top. Keep an eye on them for the last few minutes- they can brown pretty fast!
Take them out and let them cool for a few minutes. Then dig in!