Friday, February 3, 2012
Cooking Creations: Potato and Chicken Pockets
Potato and Chicken Pockets for the Potluck
I love any and all gatherings that involve food. One of my favorites though is the church potluck. Members of the congregation bring forth a bounty of their best dishes. They include chocolate pies, cheesy macaroni, and my my all of those salads. Tried and true recipes prepared by folks who have often times been cooking for longer than I have been alive. My stomach is growling just thinking about it.
My first adult contribution to a potluck was at the annual Pisgah Baptist Church picnic. I decided to make a dessert, and I had all of the ingredients to make banana bread. It came out looking exactly like I imagined and I left it to cool. It wasn’t until minutes before we had to leave that I discovered I had mixed up the baking powder and baking soda. Too prideful to show up empty handed, I sliced the bread up and covered it with a blizzard of powdered sugar. Thankfully no one asked me what I had prepared for the meal. Sorry to anyone who is just finding out who made that awful stuff that you had the misfortune to meet back in ’07.
I have since been a bit uneasy about cooking for a potluck. Granted I am a much more attentive and talented cook now, but my banana bread blunder still looms large in my memory. Often I have taken the no-cook approach and arrived with a veggie tray or fruit salad. That sounds pretty silly considering the more challenging menus I prepare for us at home, parties and catering jobs. Now with Classic Creations Cooks starting to take off, it is time I face my potluck food fears.
Today we had our first church potluck since moving here to Fulton. This, in my skewed view, was my chance to make up for past food transgressions. I made a recipe of my own invention: Potato and Chicken Pockets. These half moon pouches of creamy mashed potatoes, shredded chicken, and mild scallions would please even the pickiest palette. As I prepared each little pocket, I prayed that my dish would be well receive because I was bringing my best. An empty plate and a few questions about the tender crust after the meal helped solidify this recipe’s place in my repertoire and a hopeful future for potluck contributions.
Potato and Chicken Pockets makes 38 pockets
1 cup shredded white meat chicken
2 cups mashed potatoes
¼ cup finely chopped scallions
Homemade pie crust, enough for 3 bottom crusts (I use a part wheat recipe)
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 inch round cookie cutter
small bowl of water
greased baking sheets
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. In a bowl, mix the first three ingredients for filling. Set aside.
3. Flour work surface and roll out the crust to 1/8 inch thick. Cut out as many circles as possible. Remove and combine crust scraps to make more pockets.
4. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling onto each circle, slightly off center. Dampen fingers with water and fold each circle completely enclosing filling.
5. Place pockets onto baking sheets. Coat each pocket with an egg wash using pastry brush.
6. Bake for 18 minutes or until golden on top. Plate and serve
Note: Pockets are best served warm, but are ok room temp. They can be prepared in advance, frozen, and reheated in the oven.
Learning Everything Tip:
Pastry dough tends to dry if left out for long periods of time. If your crust seems to be drying, place a lightly dampened paper towel over it.