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Yes you can install backing & drywall for the patch. I would be concerned that you get your substrate the proper thickness to match the existing wall. Pieces of drywall do you mean a piece for each patch or filling in the patch with pieces? I would go for the piece for each patch. Not a big fan of hot mud, but it will work if you don't try & rush it. My biggest concern would be matching the existing surface.
 

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My issue with hot mud is I've seen too many times where it is applied and assumed to be a 1 coat solution. Generally looked bad & not feathered properly even with lots of sanding. If done using the typical 3 coat method(sometimes 4 on a highly visible job) it's fine.
 
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