November 16, 2009

Savory Chicken Pocket Pies

Let me begin by telling you how IN LOVE I am with this book!

i am sooo excited to cook from here

Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys by Lucinda Scala Quinn (The Executive Food Director for Martha Stewart Living)  It’s beautifully written and OMG the inside is a graph designer’s dream.  It’s like Blueprint magazine made a cookbook filled with the tastiest looking man food!

I started to mark the recipes I wanted to make with tags and then I had to stop because I found myself marking EVERY SINGLE PAGE.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been this excited over a cookbook.

4 5

1 2

3 6

Today I dove right in and made her version of “Hot Pockets.”   What a great way to start such a wonderful book! The dough was a dream to work with!  I really needed that WIN in the kitchen after my pizza dough FAIL last week.   The filling came together easily and was really good/tasty/hearty/comforting.  It was also husband and son approved.  She totally knows what she’s talking about!

The only thing is- I made about 7 pocket pies- not the 10 she says it makes. I think my plate might have been bigger than 5 inches in diameter. So it’s entirely my fault.   We had two each tonight & shared some with Coop.  Three of them are currently chilling in our freezer.   I can’t wait to crack into them one day in the near future 😉   They are a wonderful treat and SOO comforting.  Nothing like a portable & wholesome chicken pot pie!

Let’s take a look!

Cream Cheese & Butter are the gateway to a perfect crust!

you two will combine

Two discs were formed and tossed in the fridge to cool.


I gathered my filling- I added frozen peas to the mix!

ooooh filling

I grilled some chicken breast- Only 2 were used for this recipe.

pan frying the chicken

I decided to add some dill cuz I was craving it!

the devil was dill

The mixture went into the fridge to cool.


I rolled out the chilled dough- so dreamy!

cutting out rounds

Filled the pocket pies!

filling step

Crimped, & worked the edges with a fork.

three pretty maids

Doesn’t that look nice?


I baked them tonight for dinner.  1 of them leaked….Who really cares when it tastes this good?

from the oven into the belly

And I dug right in!  Please make some! You won’t regret it!

my dinner tonight

Savory Chicken Pot Pies

(recipe from Mad Hungry: Feeding Men & Boys)

  • 1 heaping cup of shredded chicken
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped carrot (1 carrot)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (my addition)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill (my addition)
  • 1 recipe (2 disks) Cream Cheese Pastry (recipe below)
  • 1 large egg, for egg wash

To make the filling, in a medium hot skillet, melt the butter and add the onion, celery, peas and carrot. Sauté over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the salt, dill and flour and cook for 1 minute more. Add the chicken broth and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1 heaping cup shredded chicken and the Parmesan cheese. Cool in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter or line a baking sheet.

To form the pocket pies, work with half of a disk of dough at a time, rolling it out on a floured surface to about 12 inches in diameter. Using an overturned bowl (about 5 inches across), cut out about 3 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. Wet the edges of the dough with water. Fold the dough over to form a half-circle. Pinch the edges of the dough together. Crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat the process until all the filling is used. The pocket pies can be frozen at this point.

Place the pocket pies 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 tablespoon water. Brush the egg wash over each pocket pie. 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.

Cream Cheese Pastry

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

In a food processor or using an electric mixer or by hand, process the butter, cream cheese and heavy whipping cream.

Add the flour and salt; process just until combined and the dough holds together in a ball. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface and divide in 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.

Rub flour all over a rolling pin. Working with one disk at a time, place the disk on a clean, well-floured surface. Roll gently from the center of the dough to the top and bottom edges. Rotate the disk, and roll to the top and bottom edges again. Reflour the work surface and rolling pin, turn the dough over and continue to roll the dough from the center 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.

  • jenifer

    i am so totally making a veggie version of these. i was craving dill today too & put a huge bunch into my autumn soup (carrots, celery, potatoes, leeks, onion – yum!)

  • maija

    oh, cream cheese pastry – funny how when you hear about something, it’s suddenly everywhere. I just picked up a Dorie Greenspan dessert cookbook (used for $5!), and she uses a cream cheese pastry, too, in a recipe or two. It’s supposed to make a really easy dough to work with. Great to see it can go savory, too – looks versatile. oh, and I’m with Jenifer – definitely making a veggie version, too. These look so yummy, I bet they’d be good with squash & caramelized onions & goat cheese, I think.

  • alex*strawberrylemonade

    Crazy, I was planning on making a chicken pot pie Sunday night—I’m making it tomorrow instead. This recipes looks amazing! xoxox

  • jenny

    dude. i neeeeeeeeeeeeeed this book!
    i can already tell, this is totally HENRY FOOD. henry is a real meat + taters, savory food kinda guy. we have this ritual on thursday nights where matty brings home fresh bread, a bottle of wine + a rotisserie chicken from whole foods and i cook the sides at home and it’s easy, fast, yum dinner with very little clean up…. but we always have like half a chicken left over- so i asked henry what he wanted for dinner the next night and he was all CHICKEN CASSEROLE!!!! which i affectionately call prison food… you know, the one pot, one dish kinda deal? prison food.
    but dammit if that kid did not serve himself THREE bowls.

    he would be drooling over these pockets, i am so making them asap!!! and totally ordering that book.

  • Amber

    Thank you for posting this! The book looks gorgeous, I will totally be ordering it.

  • Hannah

    Those sound terrific, I love the idea of individual pot pies.

  • whitney

    Adding that book to my wishlist NOW!

  • Rachel

    I saw her the day she was on Martha and thought her recipes looked delicious. Thanks for the post: I’ll have to get it sooner instead of later.

  • Gabrielle

    did you know she’s doing a book signing at draeger’s in san mateo tomorrow (11/18)?

  • mjb

    These look awesome! I hope my library gets this book.

  • jujubefamily

    it is all your fault because I ordered it from amazon today. muhahahah!!!! I cannot wait for this book to arrive. thanks!!

  • Janet

    Those are gorgeous!

  • tara

    Did I already say that I SO NEED THIS BOOK ?!?! Seriously.

  • Amber

    I wanted to thank you for posting this! I ordered the book and I love it! My picky husband (who never really takes an interest in food or cooking) sat there and we flipped through the book together… and he even mentioned it twice later in the day. We will definitely be cooking from it often. And it’s so beautifully designed!

  • Tracy

    christmas is coming up! put it on your list!

    amber- that is awesome!! my husband likes looking at the photos too. It makes him drool.

    tara- DO IT ALREADY!

    Gabrielle- I didn’t know 🙁 Obviously I was too late. Did you go??

  • Lucy

    My family keep urging me to try making something savoury for a change – these look like just the ticket to get me loving savoury cooking! The pies look so delicious!

  • Amanda Garbutt

    sooo adorable. i just made chicken pot pie last night and made individual ones but never thought to do little pies! a trick which you may like is using buttermilk, it gives a lovely tanginess that always keeps my friends coming back for seconds.

  • Stacey

    Hi! I made these last night and they are delish! The crust was really easy to make and roll out. The only problem I had was about 1C too much filling for the amount of pies I had. I used a bowl to cut out pieces that were exactly 5″ and I had 10 of them after using all the scraps of dough. Next time I make I think I’ll do 6″ pies so I can squeeze more filling into each (better crust to filling ratio) and also I’ll just make a little less filling. Prob the addition of the peas and also the fact that I didn’t really measure anything except the broth and flour. Thanks for sharing, these really are yummy and the crust even stood up to 2 min in the microwave here at work!

    • Tracy

      stacey- glad you tried them! i think i had a little leftover filling too, but we ended up mixing with rice and giving it to cooper for dinner. 6 inch pies would be great next time, or you could make a bunch of minis too like i just did with the spinach pies.

  • Jenn

    I want to thank you SOOO much for showing me this fantastic cookbook! I made the spinach/feta version of these pot pies and they were delicious, just as you described in another post of yours. Hands down ‘Mad Hungry’ is a definite must have for every cookbook collection.

  • kalen

    i just made this and the mix is delicious. it was very difficult getting a good amount of filling inside the pastry. i recommend cutting vegetables fairly small and also a larger bowl cutting size because when the dough is folded in half it made for a small pastry often cracking. i will try again tomorrow, delicious besides the difficult stuffing step!

    • Tracy

      kalen- thanks for you comment! I ran into the same thing (we had a little bit of filling leftover) but I LOVE pie crust more than anything in the world so it didn’t bother us. I ended up using the leftovers over rice for Cooper the next day. I wonder if you can thin the dough out a bit more to help?

  • vanessa

    i read about this on sunday, and i made em today, SOOO GOOD and worth the effort, o also had the 7 instead of 10 though

  • Theresa

    Thanks for posting this! I made these the other night and they turned out perfectly! Great idea and post! I think the cookbook has nailed it, my husband loved them…

    • Tracy

      awesome Theresa!! You should check out that cookbook then! I’m pretty sure your husband will love everything in it! 🙂

  • Helen

    finally got around to making these–sooo tasty. they’re going on the permanent menu for sure! next time i’ll try making the crust, but this go around i was lazy and had some extra puff pastry lying around so i used that.

    • Tracy

      That’s so weird because last night I was thinking how I could just make them- using the puff pastry in my freezer! You really should try the crust though, it’s SIMPLE!

      • Helen

        how funny!! they turned out well with the puff but i’ll definitely try the crust next time 😉

  • Erica

    These look fabulous! This crust looks especially amazing! I would like to make some of these for my children for lunch at school, and I was wondering how long you can safely keep them in the freezer?

  • Christy

    I love this cookbook! Isn’t it awesome? I tried this recipe too and it turned out great!

  • Kalena Bee

    Hi there! I just stumbled across your blog last week and I’m hooked. I tried making this crust last night and I feel I may have too much flour in the dough. When I tried to press it into disks, they were easily falling apart. Do you have any suggestions on how to make the dough more pliable? I may have added too much flour by packing the flour into each cup measurement. It’s chilling in the fridge right now for tomorrow night. Help! Anybody! lol

  • Elizabeth

    Made these last night for dinner. AMAZING!

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