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Chicken and Parsley Pesto Calzone

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

October 14, 2013 was a public holiday in Hong Kong. It is known as the Chung Yeung Festival which is grave sweeping day. People in Hong Kong are supposed to be engaging in age-old practices of ancestor worship. However, we all really know that everyone just takes the day to catch up on sleep.

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

This morning my hubby, puppy and I went for a little walk in the Cyberport Dog Park while my teenagers were enjoying their slumber. We enjoyed the kite flying festivities and the cool and comfortable breezes.

According the to HK Tourist Board, during the Chung Yeung Festival, it is popular to hike to the city’s high points on this day, as it’s believed this will bring good luck. This custom is rooted in a Han dynasty (202 BC – 220 AD) legend in which a soothsayer advised a man to take his family to high ground for the ninth day of the ninth moon. The man complied and the next day discovered that all the inhabitants of his village had been slaughtered, while he and his family had been spared by leaving for the hills.

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

In Hong Kong, people go to the great outdoors for a picnic on this day, with many people eating special cakes called ‘ko’. The name sounds similar to ‘high’ or ‘top’ in Chinese and people eat them in the hope of being promoted to high positions. I guess my teenagers had other plans other than eating Ko cakes.

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

While we were off walking the dog, my teenage boys had invaded Bam's Kitchen and it looked like a tornado blew through it.

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

They have not even started cooking yet and we have a mess. They have torn up the kitchen upside down looking for something fun and filing to eat. They have slept through breakfast so want lunch instead. Ayahhhh Teenagers!!!

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

Some of the most interesting things can be made when you don't have alot in your refrigerator or pantry. Creative solutions come alive. We made hearty grilled chicken and parley pesto calzones topped with green bell peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese, salami pepperoni and spices.

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

You can fill your calzones with whatever your little heart desires but this just happens to be what was available on our pantry shelves and refrigerator today. We made parsley pesto instead of basil pesto as that is just what we happened to have on hand and it was fresh and delightful. Parsley is such and under used herb, don't you agree?  Parsley has a fresh delicious flavor and is perfect in this calzone.

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

Making homemade pizza over the weekend is the perfect way to celebrate any holiday or festival.  Homemade calzones filled with every "Italian" delights might not exactly be traditional "Chinese" food but they sure are tasty and I am sure way more satisfying than a couple of little tiny fluffy "Ko cakes".

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

I love watching my boys think creatively in the kitchen. They really have a sense of flavors and what goes well together and they both are quite competent in the kitchen. However, they just are under the impression that there is some kind of secret fairy that cleans up after them. Today, the secret fairy shared her thoughts with her clueless teenagers and just like magic Bam's Kitchen is spotless and clean.

Chicken and parsley pesto calzone

Happy Chung Yeung Festival from our family to yours.

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Chicken and Parsley Pesto Calzone

By HWC Magazine  , , ,   

October 15, 2013

Hearty grilled chicken and parley pesto calzones topped with green bell peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese, salami pepperoni and spices.

  • Cook: 1 hr 30 mins
  • Yields: 6 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager

Ingredients

Pizza Dough

flour - 2.5 cups bread flour but can use all purpose flour as well

sugar - 1 teaspoon granulated

yeast - 1 package dry

salt - 2 teaspoons

water - 3/4 cups (about 105F-110F)

olive oil - 2 tablespoons and a little more for the bowl while resting

Pizza Toppings

chicken breasts - 1/2 pound pre-grilled (marinated in olive oil, basil, garlic, onion and salt and pepper)

pepperoni-salami - 1/4 pound thinly sliced

green bell pepper - 1/2 chopped

onion - 1/2 small chopped

mozzarella cheese - 1 cup grated

dried chili peppers - to taste- optional

jalapeño peppers - 1 tablespoon chopped-optional

tomatoes - 1 tablespoon ultra thin sliced Malaysian cherry tomatoes-optional

Tuscan seasoning - 1 teaspoon (basil, oregano, garlic, onion and dried sweet bell pepper)

salt and pepper - to taste

Parsley Pesto

parsley - 1.5 cups or very large handful (you can use flat leaf or curly)

garlic - 1 chopped

olive oil - 3/4 cup

parmesean cheese - 1/2 cup grated

basil - 1 teaspoon dried

egg - 1 beaten

olive oil - 1 teaspoon to place on top of calzone

hot pepper flakes - to taste- optional

Directions

1Make the Pizza Dough: In a large bowl combine flour, yeast, sugar and salt and then add the warm water and olive oil. Mix well and then knead for about 5 minutes until soft and pliable. Place dough bowl in a oiled bowl and cover for about 1/2 hour or until doubled in size. (I also do not own one of those fancy kitchen aids with the dough hooks. So if you are like me, a fork works just fine and you can get a great finished product with a bit of kneading)

2Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F or 232 degrees Celsius. (If you happen to have a pizza stone, heat it up in the oven but if you are like me and do not have one this recipe works just fine on a cookie sheet)

3Gather up and prepare the calzone fillings. I sliced chicken breast, pepperoni-salami, chopped up green pepper and onions.

4Make your parsley pesto: In a blender add your parsley, garlic, olive oil, parmesean cheese, basil, hot pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Blend until a nice bright green thin sauce. Set aside.

5Take your risen pizza dough and punch down until flat to get the bubbles out. Place your pizza dough on a greased cookie sheet. Spread the dough out into a 12 inch circle.

6On one half of the calzone pizza, spread a thin layer of the parsley pesto, all of your toppings like your chicken breasts, peppers, onions, pepperoni-salami, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and spices. Do not overload as you will have difficulty folding over and sealing your calzone. Leave at least one inch empty around the sides of the calzone to allow for sealing.

7Brush around the edges of the pizza with your egg wash. Pull over the empty side of the calzone over the side with all of the fillings and press down and around. I used the fold over technique to seal my calzone. You fold over the edge while holding on to the edge and then move along and fold over and new portion of the edge until it is sealed. You could also use a fork to seal the edges or whatever way works best for you.

8Brush the calzone with a little olive oil and seasonings of choice. My boys wanted dried red peppers but maybe you would like a little garlic salt or oregano.

9Bake calzone for about 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and it sounds like a thud when you tap it with your fork. (I know that sounds like odd advise but it really does make a thud sound when you tap it when it is perfectly cooked. )

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  • Anne ~ Uni Homemaker

    What a gorgeous calzone! Love the combination of pesto and chicken. And that pesto is just gorgeous!

  • So did the boys really clean up the kitchen? You’ll have to share your secret! Sounds like a great day off for everyone – an enjoyable hike with your hubby and then a delicious looking lunch. It’s hard to say no to a good calzone and this looks like a good one for sure! 🙂

    • Bams Kitchen

      Hi Kristy, it is amazing the things that teenagers can do when they really need to and that includes cleaning. It is a character building experience and one day they will be thankful we made them do chores. Or maybe not, but at least they are more likely to be better husbands one day, I hope. LOL Wishing you a super week. Take Care, BAM

  • Jo (http://blog-diggidy.com)

    Your calzone looks lovely…and delicious! And I love hearing about HK rituals. xo

  • kitchenriffs

    I totally agree parsley doesn’t get enough love. It has outstanding flavor – we always have some growing in our garden, so it’s fresh. Anyway, great calzone. And you got your boys to clean the kitchen? Your secret fairy has some juice!

  • I have parsley growing in a pot, so this would be a great recipe for me to use that in!

  • Eha

    A colourful, fun and appetizing calzone . . . and altho’ I have made all kinds of pesto, I seem to have forgotten the simplest one with parsley, a herb I DO love and use daily! Hmm, 14th October: both my darling father and older daughter were born on the day . . . and my closest beloved girlfriend died . . . so a mix to live thru’ every year . . .

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thank you Eha! Parsley has been very fresh at the markets lately and so has the cilantro and I love them both. Happy belated birthdays to your loved one’s. Wishing you a super week. BAM

  • Maureen | Orgasmic Chef

    I’ll bet mum cleaned up the kitchen to her exacting standards. 🙂 I LOVE this lunch almost as much as I loved the stuffed meatballs.

  • Looks like my new favourite pizza. I love chicken and pesto one of the best combinations.

  • YUM!

  • Don’t you wish the secret fairy had shared her thoughts with her clueless teenagers sooner? But better late than never and they may not have been ready sooner, with teenagers, timing is everything.
    Good looking calzone and am sure it was delicious. Your last minute creative kitchen meals amazes me.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Teenagers must also have this impairment called short term memory loss. Are you at all familiar with this syndrome? LOL They needs lots of reinforcements and reminders but they really are the sweetest boys. I wish I had some of your garden harvest to put on my calzone! Take Care, BAM

  • I’ve never knew that Oct 14. was a public holiday in HK. I have yet visit HK and would love to one day! The Festival sounds lovely! Yesterday was a strange one, I didn’t know Buenos Aires had a holiday, too just like the U.S., there weren’t busy people walking around downtown, it was as quiet as a library. I had to wait for my housekeeper all day, and I received an e-mail from the landlord that she won’t be coming in due to a holiday. I’ve felt like I wasted a day, but I was glad I didn’t venture out to try new vegan eats otherwise most are closed.

    • Bams Kitchen

      Asia compared to the US has so many holidays. However, other than the HK banks and maybe the libraries everything else is open and everything is hustling. With 8 million people off work, it is busy!

  • Thanks for sharing the recipe. I would love to have that for breakfast.

  • Oh how I love calzone but never had it with chicken and pesto. Yours look very tempting and delicious. I’m sure this would be a hit in my house. Have a good week, Bam! 🙂

  • Love parsley. Haven’t had calzones for a while and it’s about time to make some. Thanks for sharing.

  • This is making me so hungry!! Fortunately I have Trader Joes with their delicious pre-made pizza crust, that is perfect for calzones!!

  • And happy Chung Yeung Festival to you too. Now I know where the term’head for the hills” came from. Of course your boys would be creative in the kitchen, just look at their roll model. Those calzones look great and now I’ve got a major craving for some. About those magic cleaning fairies…wonder how I would go about finding some for here.

  • Happy Chung Yeung Festival to you and your family, BAM! Ahh, great minds think (somewhat) alike. I can’t wait to tell you what I did with your meatballs… Hint, it has something to do with calzones, before you even posted that entry.

  • Buona sera, BAM! Hope you enjoyed the holiday. You certainly did eat well. Homemade calzones are so good and yours, using grilled chicken, must have been incredible! And I’m with you on the use of parsley. I use it more than just about any other herb, buying 2 bunches at a time. Have a great week!

  • I love all the flavourful fillings of your calzone!

  • Your calzone looks wonderful, and the filling sounds really interesting. Lovely!

  • This is my kind of calzone right here! Love all the flavors you put together in this.

  • Oh my such a gorgeous filling in this calzone! I bet teenagers can eat in seconds! I love your pesto sauce and this looks really good, Bam! It’s lunch time here and without kids around I’m so lazy to stand up and cook for myself (especially no leftover argh). I’d love this for lunch… 🙂

  • I would love these calzones any time, any day! And what a great and fresh tasting idea to make them with parsley pesto. Such an interesting festival and also a great idea to sweep the graves in remembrance….or sleep, whatever works! Happy Chung Yeung Festival to you and your family, too, BAM.

  • Love calzones! This looks delicious!

  • I may just have to borrow your secret fairy for a day or two.. if she works magic like that I may not let you have her back:D I love calzones.. and haven’t made them since the kids were small. I just plain forgot about them:) I love what you’ve got for a filling.. and I adore stories about your boys! What a lovely peaceful walk you two must have had. xx

  • YUM! My youngest will be home for fall break this weekend, and this might just fit the bill. He can eat like a horse…and your calzone would be very well received 🙂

  • Wow Bam,
    This looks amazing!

  • I love calzone but haven’t made one in ages. This one has really inspired me to make on very soon and this looks like a fabulous one to make! I love everything about it from the crust to the pesto. It’s beautiful!

  • Mmmmm……. this looks like a cross between a pizza & a curry puff. It’s nice to have our boys invading our kitchen once a while; a great bonding session!

  • This calzone looks AMAZING! My mouth is watering, I could eat at least 5 of these.

  • Hi Bobbi, I love reading stories about you and your teenagers! So now the secret fairy has teenagers to help her wash the dishes! 😉 The calzone looks amazing and delicious!

  • Beautifully done and so delicious looking!! I love this idea!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Thanks Dan for stopping by. Looking forward to keeping in touch and love your family’s gnocchi recipe. Take Car, BAM

  • I’ve been craving all things dough- and bread-related, so this little number has definitely got my attention. Can’t go wrong with pesto either, especially since I have a ton of parsley in the garden that needs to be plucked before the first frost. Perfect way to prevent waste!

  • That looks gorgeous!
    I would love some right now! I bet the kitchen smelled amazing.

  • You won’t ever seen this kind of great stuffed with loaded with tons of goodness in a store…
    Glorious homemade calzone!

  • I think most holidays are used for sleeping in. Which is fine with me! But it’s so interesting to know the original idea behind them. A calzone never fails, especially for teenagers and with pepperoni inside! Gorgeous!

  • I can’t get over how professionally finished your calzone looks Bam – seriously… any proper pizza place would be proud to produce such a thing, and rare is the time I get something looking as good as this, even from the “better” pizza places. The parsley pesto sounds delightful (I never had a pesto with parsley before…) and I bet it was a perfect pairing with the calzone!

    • Bams Kitchen

      Oh Charles, you are making me blush. Thank you for your kind comment and have a super weekend. Take Care, BAM

  • Pictures are looking great, makes me really wanna try out this recipe. Love using pesto!!

  • Hello Bobbi, finally I made it here! 🙂 Hope you’re doing well! What a fabulous recipe! I am saving it so I can make it for my teenagers. They would love it.

  • Bobby – you have one of the most delicious cooking websites!! I love calzones and mine always break and I have tried all types of sealing techniques. Your calzone is perfect. 🙂

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