Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pesto Chicken in a French Bread Loaf

This meal was inspired by my mom's original Reuban loaf and the need to use up leftover chicken, bread dough, and pesto. I used the rustic French bread dough and chicken from previous posts. Joe made the pesto. I've made this a couple of times now, and it is becoming one of our favorites. I will apologize now for the dark pictures. I am using my phone camera since my camera broke.

Step one: Use a rolling pin and roll out some dough. Place it one a baking stone or sheet sprinkled with corn meal. 

Step two: Spread the pesto in a strip down the middle of the dough. 

Step three: Place pieces of chicken on top of the pesto. 

Step four: Put a small stripe of ranch dressing on top of the chicken. I literally just go over the chicken once and then add a little to any area that was really skimpy. This just adds a little flavor and creaminess. It is not the main event so don't add too much. 

Step five: Top with mozzarella cheese and then a small small layer of cheddar. 

Step six: Use a knife to cut the dough every inch or two along both edges. This will allow you to braid the dough. 

Step seven: Fold the ends over the chicken, and then alternating sides, fold the cut pieces onto the chicken. This will result in the braided look you see above. 

Step eight: Place in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Some of the cheese may ooze out onto the pan. This is normal, don't worry. Allow to sit for five minutes before cutting with a bread knife. 

Pesto Chicken French Bread Loaf 

Bread dough or pizza dough
Chicken (cooked as you like)
Ranch dressing
Mozzarella cheese
Cheddar cheese

(Note that amounts are not specified. It's like making a pizza. The amounts are flexible according to your tastes.)

Preheat oven to 425.  Sprinkle corn meal onto a baking sheet. Roll out dough on a floured surface and place onto bakin sheet.  Layer pesto, chicken, ranch dressing, and cheeses down the middle if the dough. Cut the sides of the dough with a knife. Braid the dough enclosing the toppings inside. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before cutting. 

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