Now THAT’S a hot pocket!
After last month’s recipe roundup post on how to make cinnamon raisin swirl bread from scratch, I knew that I wanted to make something that would allow you to get a little creative for this month’s recipe roundup. With that one objective in mind, I have come up with a creation I like to call Cheesy Chicken Veggie Pockets. It is an alternative take of the Flying Tomato recipe that I once saw on the Hidden Valley website.
What am I waiting for?! Let’s dive in!
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
- 1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled off and then diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 Jalapenos, seeds removed and diced
- 1/2 cup diced carrot (I used shredded carrots and diced them up smaller)
- 1 cup reduced-fat, shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 block of cream cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing (I used a Peppercorn Ranch and had a $1 Off coupon!)
- 1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tubes Pillsbury Grands (8 biscuits per tube)
- 3 medium sized tomatoes, cut into 16 slices
- Flour for dusting your work surface & rolling pin
You can literally fill these pockets with whatever your heart desires (within reason, of course)! You could use bacon instead of chicken, maybe sub in some broccoli for one of the peppers. Perhaps you aren’t a big fan of spicy foods, simply skip the jalapenos. What I am trying to get at is don’t be afraid to make this your own, change it up based on your own taste preferences and take some risks. You never know how something will come out until you try it.
Cooking Tip Reminder: Make sure to look and see if any coupons are available for ingredients that you don’t currently have. For this recipe and my cupboard, I was excited to use the following coupon –
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 400°F to ensure that the pockets cook evenly and at the proper temperature.
- In a large bowl, add the diced chicken, carrots and peppers (bell & jalapeno) and stir together. Then add in the cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and ranch dressing and mix until it’s well combined; set aside. It will look a bit like chicken salad (but in a cheesy, ranchy goodness kind of way) –
- Next, sprinkle some flour onto a clean & dry work surface, then open the biscuits and separate. I used the Pillsbury Grands Flaky Layers and peeled each biscuit in half for each pocket so that 1 biscuit = 1 pocket. Once you have the biscuits peeled in half, take a floured rolling pin and roll each biscuit half into roughly a 5″ circle and then brush some of the egg mixture onto each of the circles.
- Peeling apart the biscuits was a little more difficult than I initially thought it would be, but still doable. However, if peeling apart biscuits doesn’t sound like a good time to you, you can change it up a bit and go with the Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits that come 10 per tube (a bit smaller) and just use 1 biscuit for each side of the pocket so 2 biscuits = 1 pocket. If you go this route, you would need to get 4 tubes of 10 biscuits, yielding a total of 20 pockets and would need to adjust your tomato slices to 20 instead of 16.
- Spread about 2 tablespoons of the cheesy-chicken-veggie mixture onto half of the rolled out circles and top each off with a tomato slice. Then place the remaining circles atop the other side of the pocket, egged side down and stretch it so it completely covers the bottom circle; roll over any excess dough toward the middle of the pocket and then press around the edges with the tines of a fork to seal completely.
- Move the pockets onto a couple greased baking sheets (I only had one baking sheet to work with, so I cooked mine in three batches). Brush each pocket with the egg mixture and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Transfer the pockets from the baking sheet to a wire rack or cutting board and let stand about 5 minutes before serving. To complete the meal, my personal recommendation would be to serve this with a nice salad or a bed of rice pilaf.
And Voila! The process itself does take some time, so be sure to carve out an hour and a half or so to complete this from start to finish.
Now it’s your turn! Did you try mixing up some of the ingredients? Were you able to find some good coupons? I want to know – just leave me a reply in the comment section below.
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