These chicken “hot pockets” make a great snack on-the-go, or even a main when accompanied by steamed vegetables or salad. The flaky cream cheese pastry is super simple to work with – even a novice baker like myself produced superb results. Best of all, they can be frozen and re-heated! I have adapted this into a lighter, healthier version from the wonderful cookbook by Lucinda Scala Quinn, “Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys“. As the title indicates, this recipe is sure to put a smile on the faces of hungry men, boys (and girls) in your household! You might also want to sneak a few in before they’re all gone!
For the filling:
- 1 heaping cup of cooked shredded chicken (store-bought roast chicken leftovers work great)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 large egg, for egg wash
For the pastry:
- 8 tbsp olive-oil margarine, at room temperature
- 4 oz light cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup soy creamer
- 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- Mix the margarine, cream cheese and soy creamer in a food processor or by hand to thoroughly combine.
- Add the flour and salt. Mix until combined and dough holds together in a ball. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface. Divide into 2 pieces. Flatten into disks and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before rolling out. If the dough is chilled overnight, take it out 15 minutes before rolling out. *Note: dough will keep in fridge for a few days.
- Rub flour all over a rolling pin. Working with one dough disk at a time, place the disk on a clean, well-floured surface. Applying some pressure with the rolling pin, roll gently from the centre of the dough to the top and bottom edges. Rotate the disk and roll to the top and bottom edges again. Re-flour the work surface and rolling pin, turn the dough over, and continue to roll the dough from the centre out to the edges. Turn over and roll again, rotating the disk to ensure even rolling until the dough is about 12 inches in diameter, thin but not transparent.
- Add olive oil to a medium-sized hot skillet and sauté the onion, celery and carrot for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the salt and flour and cook for 1 more minute. Add the chicken broth and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded chicken. Remove from heat and allow to cook.
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. To form the pockets, work with half of a disk of dough at a time, rolling it out on a floured surface. Using an overturned bowl (about 5 inches across), cut out circles from each piece of dough. After cutting out all your circles, gather all dough scraps, reroll and cut out a final time. Place 1/4 cup filling on one side of a dough circle. Slightly wet the edges of the dough with water. Fold the dough over to form a half circle. Pinch the edges of the dough together and crimp with a fork to seal. Repeat the process until all the filling is used.
- Place the pockets on the prepared baking sheet and chill for a few minutes. Prick each pie on top twice with a fork. When ready to bake, beat the egg with 1 tbsp water. Brush the egg wash over each pocket. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. The pies can be cooled and frozen to reheat in the microwave.
Image: Brenda Palmer via Flickr