Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mexican Chicken Phyllo Rolls (Homemade Hot Pocket)

I'm not sure what my inspiration was for this recipe.  Justin had chicken thighs thawed and we had most of the items on hand.  It sounded like a delicious mix of Mexican, Greek, and American influences.  I imagine most food critics or trained chefs would be appalled by this combination, but it came out to be a delicious, soul-warming homemade Hot Pocket!  I was a little leery about making and using the gravy in this, but after tasting it, I have no regrets!  Imagine crossing a chicken pot pie with chicken enchiladas and wrapping it all up in some crispy, Greek phyllo dough!  Play list while cooking consisted of the Operation Ivy Pandora station - Some Op Ivy, Rancid, Goldfinger, Descendents, The Slackers.  -Jen


MEXICAN CHICKEN PHYLLO ROLLS (HOMEMADE HOT POCKETS)
Makes about 6 phyllo rolls
  • frozen phyllo dough, thawed (requires appx 8 hours thawing, follow instructions on box)
  • 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes
  • 5 chicken thighs, with skin and bone
  • 3 teaspoons seasoning mix, divided (see recipe below)
  • 1 can (4oz) chopped green chiles
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  •  2 teaspoons garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon, plus extra green Tabasco hot sauce
  • 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth, as needed
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 egg (and 1 tablespoon water)
Seasoning Mix   
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pasilla chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground New Mexico chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground California chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Mix spices together.

Place a small strainer over a bowl and empty can of tomatoes into strainer.  Toss with 1 teaspoon of salt and set aside to drain.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Lightly grease the bottom of a baking dish with olive oil.  Place chicken thighs in baking dish and sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of seasoning mix.  Bake at 450 for 25-30 minutes, until juices run clear.  Remove from oven and using tongs, place chicken thighs on a plate to cool and set aside.  Carefully pour the remaining chicken juice and fat from the baking pan into a bowl and refrigerate.

When chicken is cooled, remove skin and discard.  Pull the meat from the bone and place into a bowl.  Using two forks, shred chicken meat.  Add green chiles, green onions, cilantro, garlic, oregano, cheese, and 2 dashes of Tabasco.  Mix together and set aside.

Remove chicken drippings from refrigerator.  The fat should have solidified on top.  Scoop all the fat solids off the top of the chicken broth, saving 2 tablespoons of fat.  Measure out the chicken broth saved from baking and use canned chicken broth to make a total of 1 cup of liquid.  Place the 2 tablespoons of chicken fat in a small sauce pan (use olive oil to make up the difference if you didn't have 2 tablespoons worth of fat).  Heat on medium and add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour.  Stir constantly until a paste is formed, making a roux.  Quickly add the 1 cup of broth to the roux, turn heat to high, and begin whisking constantly.  While whisking, add 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mix.  Once the liquid begins to boil, the gravy will begin to thicken.  Continue whisking until it's a gravy consistency and remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Since phyllo dough can be a pain to work with because it dries out quickly, it's best to arrange your work station like an assembly line.  You'll need your chicken filling and gravy near by, enough room for two working areas for phyllo dough, and a well greased cookie sheet.  Make sure your butter is melted and egg wash prepared (by whisking egg and 1 tablespoon of water together) before opening your phyllo dough.  Remove one sheet of phyllo dough and keep the rest covered with a clean, damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap.  Brush melted butter over the first sheet of phyllo and cover buttered dough with a second sheet of phyllo dough.  Brush second sheet with melted butter.  Gently place about 1/2 a cup of filling near the bottom of your phyllo sheets.  Top with 2 tablespoons of the gravy.  Carefully begin to roll the filled phyllo like a burrito, tucking the sides in as you roll.

Place rolled pouches seam-side down on well greased cookie sheet.  Brush tops with egg wash.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until tops are golden brown.  Remove from oven and let cool for five minutes before serving.


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