Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chicken Pot "Pockets"

I love it when I see celebrity chefs thinking of new and inventive ways to eat traditional dishes that are normally a bit cumbersome to make. Instead of only being able to indulge in such dishes at restaurants around town, they give you ways to still enjoy those belly-warming meals without breaking the bank.

Enter Melissa D'Arabian -- winner of season 5 of The Food Network Star. Her win on that show landed her a program on Food Network called "Ten Dollar Dinners." Now, I have to be honest...originally, I wasn't in love with Melissa. But as I watched her show more and more, I realized that she--as a working mom with 2 kids and a hungry husband to feed--cooks in such a way that anyone can relate. And most of her dishes can be recreated by the everyday busy home cook.

So I watched Melissa one Sunday morning. She was making chicken pot pie turnovers and stuffed veggies and all sorts of mouthwatering comfort food. It was her chicken pot pie turnovers that inspired me to make this dish. I'm coining them "Chicken Pot Pockets" -- they are not quite as gourmet as Melissa's but they were still rich and decadent! Give them a try - these little pockets of deliciousness will bring anyone back to their childhood!

Here's what you need:

1/2 yellow onion
1 1/2 cups cubed chicken (I used breast meat)
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
2/3 cup frozen peas and carrots mixture
1 jar chicken gravy (store brand is just fine here)
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup of water
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (I used Pepperidge Farm)
Salt, pepper, and minced garlic to taste

Here's what you do:

In a heavy-bottomed frying pan, combine the corn, peas, and carrots with the water. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Stir to combine. When the water starts boiling, add the bay leaf and cover. Let steam for about 5 minutes until tender.

While the veggies soften, finely dice the onion.
Drain the veggies and return the frying pan to the heat, reducing to about medium. Add a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. When the oil is warmed, add the onions and brown well (ALMOST to the point of carmelizing. I added salt, pepper, and a DASH of sugar to the onions). Add the chicken and stir to combine.


Return the veggies to the pan (remove bay leaf!) and stir in the chicken gravy. Now is when you need to make a decision -- I used about 3/4 of the jar because we decided that we wanted our filling to be less "wet." However, if you want an oozing center, add the entire jar.

Bring the gravy to a slight boil. When there are tiny bubbles on the surface, reduce heat to low and cover. Let cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove the filling from the heat and let it cool slightly.
While filling is cooling off, roll out your puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface. Cut into four even squares. Lightly roll out each square to increase your surface area.

Spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons of the filling on to the center of each square of pastry dough. Brush a small bit of water onto the edges.

Pull a corner of the dough to the opposite corner, creating a triangle. Press the edges in to seal.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 25 minutes.
Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes (look at the golden brown goodness!)

Serve alongside mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus, or brown rice. YUM!

These measurements yielded enough filling for 2 sheets of puff pastry, which left 8 chicken pot pockets in total. Needless to say, I cannot WAIT to have the leftovers for lunch. Ahhh, comfort food.


  1. These look awesome, JKom! Chicken pot pie is my number one comfort food!

  2. Wow, these look so good! I can't wait to make these this myself(Although I am sure they won't turn out as good as yours)