I’m mixing things up on the blog today and doing something I’ve never done before. I wanted to share one of my favorite recipes which I have modified to make it perfect for entertaining. I served these delicious chicken and broccoli pockets at a baby shower brunch last weekend and received a lot of requests for the recipe. So here you are, ladies!
Years ago, while flipping through a Pampered Chef cookbook, I came across a recipe that I just had to try. It includes a handful of my favorite ingredients, including chicken, broccoli, cheese, red pepper, and garlic, but in reality, the recipe had me at “crescent rolls.” Please tell me I am not the only one who thinks they must put crack in Pillsbury Crescent Rolls because they are so darn addictive? Anyone? Well, anyway, I LOVE them so I had to try making the Chicken Broccoli Bread Braid!
It was every bit as good as I hoped! The cookbook recommended it as a brunch dish, but we often ate it for dinner as well, and it quickly became one of my go-to meals!
Over time I’ve made a few tweaks to the recipe. Then about a year ago I made one big change, or should I say one small change – I realized this would be perfect for serving at parties or potlucks if made in individual serving sizes.
The original recipe uses two cans of refrigerated crescent rolls (I like the Pillsbury the best, but other brands work just fine). The crescent rolls (unseparated) are laid out on a cookie sheet, creating one large rectangle (pressed together to seal the perforations down the center). The filling is placed in the middle, and the outer corners of the crescent rolls are wrapped up over the filling to create a long thin bread braid that cut into slices for serving.
The bread braid form is perfect for serving family meals, but I wanted to find a way to make it easier to serve to large groups at parties and potlucks. Rather than creating one long, braided crust around all of the filling, I simply place a heaping spoonful of the filling on each of the individual crescent rolls, and then wrap them up to create single serving sized “pockets.”
When I prepare chicken and broccoli pockets for parties or potlucks, I typically like to make two dozen.
CHICKEN & BROCCOLI POCKETS (makes 24)
3 pkgs refrigerated crescent roll dough (8 per pkg)
1 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
3 large cans of canned white meat chicken
3/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup mayonnaise
4 garlic clove, pressed
3 tsp dried dill weed
1/3 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and cover two cookie sheets in foil (my preferred method for quick, easy cleanup). Combine all of the ingredients in one large bowl. Open the cans of crescent rolls and separate the dough into the individual triangles. Start with one triangle, stretching it gently to make the triangle larger without tearing the dough. Lay the dough triangle on the cookie sheet and place a heaping spoonful of the filling in the widest part of the triangle. While there is no right way to wrap it up from here, I have come up with my own preferred method that minimizes the amount of filling spillage. Since a picture is always worth a thousand words, let me show you how I wrap them rather than describing it.
After you wrap the crescent roll around your chicken filling, tuck the loose triangle point under the sandwich pocket. Finally, press down gently on the top of the pocket with your palm to make it just a bit flatter and wider, and, if necessary, pinch the dough together a bit at the openings to prevent any filling from spilling out.
Now your Chicken Broccoli Pockets are ready to be baked. I cook mine for between 12-15 minutes, but keep in mind that I live in the Mile High City, so cooking times may vary at lower altitudes. Remove from the oven when the crescent rolls are golden brown.
These reheat very well, so leftovers make a wonderful lunch for the next day. In fact, next time I make them I plan to cook extra for this very purpose. I’ve even thought about making extra and freezing them later – but I haven’t tried that yet, so if I do, I’ll let you know how it goes. These Chicken Broccoli Pockets are always a big hit, and they are popular among adults and kids alike! Bon appetit!