cheesy chicken broccoli stromboli on plate

I’m starting anew. With the way life has been lately, it’s the only way to go. I’m not complaining — in fact, I’ve learned more about myself, about others, about life in general these past couple of months than I have in a long time, and I am grateful.

It’s another step in the process of growing up, I guess (“If only someone had told us when we were in high school how tough it is to be an adult!” my friends and I say. Ah, hindsight is 20/20).

So, instead of crawling back into a cave, where everything seems comfortable and easy and unobtrusive (and yet, ignorant and stagnant), I’m pressing forward. And I’m taking this stromboli with me.

cheesy chicken broccoli stromboli in plate

The first time I made stromboli, I was worried. I was worried it would taste boring, with too much crust and not enough filling, or that all of the filling would spill out of the bottom leaving me with a pizza crust skeleton and a lovely mess of cheese on the side. That is my way, worrying. But I forged ahead anyway, as is also my way these days. And I’m glad I did, because on the other end of the bridge was me and this glorious goodness — this ooey-gooey, cheesy and crusty wonder — stuffed with pieces of tender, juicy chicken and crisp, roasted broccoli. One bite, and my worries were gone.

taking a bite of cheesy chicken broccoli stromboli

Of course, a stromboli won’t take all of your cares away. It won’t make the rain turn into rainbows, and it won’t turn a bad egg into a golden one. In the end, it’s just a stromboli. But sometimes, that’s all we need, isn’t it? Just a little something, something to remind us of the small joys in life, something that shows us, in the deepest, darkest of caves, that there is goodness on the other side. And I’m going there, headfirst, belly full.

P.S. Check out this equally yummy Mushroom Fontina Stromboli over at Tablespoon.

Cheesy Chicken & Broccoli Stromboli
A Girl Versus Dough original

Yields: 1 stromboli (serves 2 for dinner, 4 for a side dish/appetizer)

1 of your favorite pizza crusts, prepared and ready to bake
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese (or a mix of any of your favorite, melty cheeses)
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets and chopped stems, roasted until only slightly crunchy
1 cup cubed, cooked chicken
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese (or a mix of any of your favorite, melty cheeses)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
On a pizza stone or parchment paper-lined baking sheet, press dough into a 14-by-10-inch rectangle. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese on middle length of the dough. Top evenly with broccoli, then chicken. Top with cheddar cheese.
Fold in short sides of dough by 1 inch, then fold in long sides over each other, overlapping in the center. Pinch to seal. Carefully flip dough over so the seal is on the bottom (if you’re nervous about this step, skip it: The stromboli just looks prettier with the seal on the bottom, but it’s not necessary).
Bake stromboli for about 20 minutes, or until crust is a deep golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes before slicing or serving.