Provisions: BBQ Chicken & Sharp Cheddar Calzones
Up on Colorado's snowy Front Range, we get to play wallflower in the Happyolks kitchen as Kelsey whips us up her favorite slopes-side snack. Wondering if she skis or snowboards? Well, we're glad you asked.
grew up skiing. Mom and Dad had us practicing our French fries and pizzas before five years old, and by seven my brother and I were bivouacking the moguls and zipping down the diamonds with the character fearlessness of youth. It wasn’t until the early 00s, after snowboarding made it’s debut at the Nagano winter games (and in the era of pubescent, middle-school insecurity) that it became officially UNCOOL to ski, and I traded in my poles for a “I Love Surfer Boys” stomp pad. I had a permanently bruised bum for, like, a year, until I got the hang of things.
15 years later, I’m still snowboarding. I’m an above-average carver on the blue runs, but you won’t see me on the terrain park and I never did fall in love with a surfer boy. I’m faster and better on skis, but if I’m honest with myself,
I revel in the snowboarding counterculture and max chill, interloper style that riles old-school skiers for whom we’ve “ruined” the mountain.
For a few hours on my board I get to live out that hot-chick alter ego. You know the girl I’m talking about — the kind who wears old jeans and white t-shirts with “maybe I just had sex” hair. They prefer bourbon to white wine, are genuinely kind to everyone, can start a fire, change the oil, and are ready at a moment's notice to pull off the road and jump into the ocean naked. I feel free. And I like that.
So, as you can imagine, when it comes to the great ski/snowboard debate, my only real questions are: do you enjoy it? And do you like the way it makes you feel? Do you feel happy, alive?
Being right or righteous isn’t, and shouldn’t be, the goal. It’s supposed to be fun, after all. And the idea of having fun, together, at the same place, should theoretically be a welcome respite from the seriousness of everyday “adult” life.
However you choose to get down the hill, we can all agree that it hurts to spend $50 on a basket of fries and a can of Coors at the lodge.
And unlike middle school, packing a lunch and financial responsibility is cool as an adult. When 1:30 pm rolls around on the mountain, I’m usually starving for something hearty, warm, and that will keep me full and focused for the rest of the afternoon — whether I’m on the slopes or not.
So meet pizza's turnover cousin, the calzone. Filled with your favorite pizza toppings — or whatever meat, veggies, or cheese you happen to have lingering in the fridge — these half moon-shaped pockets are as easy to make as they are to consume on the go. Wrap warm calzones in tin foil immediately after baking and they’ll stay warm for a few hours — just enough time to take a few runs off of the first chair.
Makes 8 large calzones to share or keep throughout the week.
Dough (or cheat and use the pre-made stuff from Whole Foods)
4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp active dry yeast
2 cups lukewarm water
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 sweet yellow onions, sliced thin
2 cups kale, chopped
1-2 cups extra sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup preferred BBQ sauce
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
If you plan to make dough from scratch, combine flour and salt in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, combine lukewarm water, yeast, and olive oil. Allow to rest and bubble for about five minutes before pouring over the flour mixture. Knead with your hands until well combined. Divide mass into two hunks of dough and place in oiled bowls or on a heavily floured surface. Cover and allow to rise for 90 minutes.
While the dough rises, start in on the filling. Caramelize sliced onions in a heavy-bottomed pot with a pat of butter; this should take 30 to 40 minutes. Add shredded chicken, kale, your favorite BBQ sauce, red pepper flakes, and the remaining butter. Simmer on low for ten to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in grated cheese.
Preheat the oven to 400° F. On a floured surface, divide the dough into eight smaller pieces. Using your hands or a rolling pin, spread a smaller piece of dough into a disc six inches or so in diameter. Spoon a large dollop of filling onto one side of the dough round. Fold dough over to enclose the filling. Roll up the edges with your fingers to close tightly. Repeat with remaining rounds.
Place calzones on baking sheet that's been greased or lined with parchment paper. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown. Let the calzones rest 10 minutes before digging in, or wrap them in tin foil immediately after baking and take out on the trail, in the car, or on the slopes for a warm, handheld, homemade meal. [H]
Kelsey Boyte is a freelance writer and the author of Happyolks.com.
She enjoys high-altitude hiking, deep sea fishing, mezcal, and people who don't take themselves too seriously.
You can follow along on Instagram.
All photos © Shaun Boyte