The Classiest Hot Pockets Ever

I’m not going to dissemble. This one is a bitch. It was my first experience working with filo dough and I was thoroughly unprepared for the sheer amount of work required. The end result made it worth the effort.
What I made was essentially chicken cordon bleu in a filo crust, or, as I like to call it, a European Hot Pocket.
To make this, you will need four pieces of thin sliced chicken, some swiss, some ham (both also thin sliced), salt, pepper, mustard, 16 pieces of filo, an acceptance of the inevitable and an infinite amount of patience
To start, thaw out your filo dough and preheat the oven to 350F (175C). Take some thinly sliced chicken and pound it thinner-shoot for a quarter of an inch.
To do this, place your chicken on a firm surface.
An actual cutting board works better for this than my usual thin sheet of plastic.

It is better to cover it with a piece of saran wrap when you start to take the mallet to it. Otherwise you will get chicken everywhere. I promise. It will be nasty.

Raw chicken is gross.

 Once all of your chicken is thoroughly pounded,

I had to put the head back on my mallet 

 Slice them in halves

Yup, still nasty

 Place down a slice of ham down, then a slice of swiss topped by one of your chicken halves.

The fun part was how I had to keep washing my hands between each  packet.

Roll up the pile so that the ham and swiss are wrapped around the chicken

Now clean to handle.

Repeat for the rest of the chicken slices.

The neat little piles are not necessary, but they are encouraged.

 Now if your are a sane person, you will discard the filo dough and buy some puff pastry instead. If you are like me and insist on doing this the classy way, take to heart these lessons I learned about filo dough in the twenty minutes it took me to make eight pockets.

Firstly, the sheets will rip. It doesn’t matter how careful you are being, they have the durability of a bubble floating next to a five-year-old. You will try to prevent it but, at the end of the day, it would take the placidity of a Buddhist monk to not become frustrated.

Secondly you will need much more olive oil than you think you will.  You will also need a paint brush.

Now, for those unfamiliar with the process of preparing filo dough, you must first remove a roll of what appears to be rice paper from its packaging. Next you must lay a sheet down across a flat surface and paint it with melted butter.

If I am adding that much fat to something, however, it will be in the form of olive oil, thankyouverymuch.

 Once the first sheet is thoroughly doused, repeat the process until you have a pile four sheets high. Be sure to cover the top piece because you need to put oil anywhere the dough will touch itself.

Above: Five minutes of trying, fruitlessly, to keep the sheets from ripping.

Slice the sheets down the middle, so you have two wraps. In the middle of each, place one of your meat and cheese fold-overs, along with some mustard, salt and pepper.

Mmm, Dijon…

Next you will proceed to make a burrito out of your dough by folding in the sets of opposite corners. Looking at the above picture, fold in east and west, then south then roll north down so that it wraps around the entire pocket


It really does look like a tiny burrito.

 Place your wraps on a cookie sheet. Make sure that cookie sheet is lined. I forgot to do that and my clean up became much more difficult.

As you can see, I tried several wrapping methods. None of them kept the melted cheese in. 
Throw them in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until the outside looks like this:
And now they look like egg-rolls. I really do need a better camera.

Warning: These contain molten cheese. Let them cool! 

Enjoy!

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4 thoughts on “The Classiest Hot Pockets Ever

  1. Just curious. I know you were having a hard time with the filo tearing. I've found that if I'm going to work with filo I take it from my freezer the day before and then leave it in my freezer overnight. Usually by the next day they're not too dry, but still able to work with. Although you have to be quick before it dries when working with it. Just a thought.

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