Hearty Chicken Empanadas

Chicken Empanadas
After watching The Amazing Race last Sunday and watching the teams assemble Argentinian Empanadas, I decided to find an Empanada recipe and make some.

As always I tweaked it a bit even though I'd never made them before. Hubs and I liked the end result but agreed they were a bit bland.

So next time I'll try adding some herbs such as fresh rosemary or fresh sage, and I'll put out some HP Sauce on the side for dipping.

Here's how I made the pastry but I think you could cheat by using a ready-made pie crust and rolling it out.




Pastry Ingredients
PASTRY

   *  3 cups of all purpose flour
   *  ¼ teaspoon of salt
   *  6 oz of unsalted butter cut into 12 pieces, fresh out of the fridge
   *  1 egg
   *  5-6  tablespoons of cold water

6 oz of butter is 1 1/2 sticks if you buy it in sticks. It also converts to 3/4 of a cup

Start by mixing or sifting your flour and salt together.  Place mixture in an electric mixer, and start mixing on low while you slowly add the butter pieces, the egg and the cold water.

Dough Ball
Add the water last, a bit at a time so you can add more or less depending on how sticky the dough looks. Keep mixing slowly until a ball of dough forms.

Next wrap the ball in plastic and put it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

FILLING

While the dough is resting in the fridge you can start on the filling. For that you will need chicken or turkey. I used both because I was using leftovers that were in the fridge from a few days before, and frozen turkey pieces from Christmas.

You can use fresh chicken breasts or leftover as  I did. I used about 1 1/2 cups of meat but it's your choice to use more or less.

Chop the meat into cubes and set aside. You will also need the following:

2 carrots, peeled and cut into cubes or small slices
1 onion finely chopped
about 1 cup of potatoes peeled and cut into small cubes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2-1 cup of chicken stock
2 Tbsp margarine or butter
Salt, Pepper to taste
1 tsp Fine Herbes

I am going to add 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary and 1 Tbsp. HP Sauce next time I make these as these were a bit bland for hubs and I.

Chopped Onions

Chopped Carrots

Saute the Vegetables
Chicken Bouillon Powder and H2O
Next, saute the onions and garlic in margarine until soft. Then if you are using raw chicken, add it next and continue to saute as you would for stir fry, about 7 minutes. If using leftover cooked chicken or turkey don't add it yet.

Instead add the bouillon, carrots and potatoes and continue to cook for another 10 minutes

Turkey & Chicken added
Now add the leftover meat and your spices (salt, pepper, fines herbes etc) and let simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain, then let this filling mixture cool.

While the filling is cooling, you can start rolling out your pastry to make the Empanada circles.

I cut my ball of dough in half to make it easier to roll out. Cover the half you are not using with plastic to stop it from drying out.

Put a bit of flour on your rolling surface. I use a marble rolling pin and roll directly out on a granite counter top. That keeps the pastry cool instead of warm.

5" Pastry Circles
Roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thick. Using a plate about 5" in diameter, cut circles out of the dough. I was able to get 8 circles from my pastry.

Place your pastry circles aside while you roll out the next ball. Cover those circles with plastic so they don't dry out.

If your filling isn't cooled by the time you are done rolling out circles, cover the circles with plastic to prevent them drying out. I put my filling in the fridge while I was rolling out the pastry circles and it was cool enough to use right away.

Now put your filling mixture in the centre of each pastry circle. Bring one side of the circle up and crimp the edges together to seal. You will have a semi-circle empanada when done.

Sealed & Brushed with Egg
You can use a fork or your fingers to make the seal.

Place the empanadas on baking trays lined with parchment paper. Brush each empanada with a beaten egg mixed with 1 tsp of milk.

Bake the empanadas for 15 to 20 minutes in a 400' oven. Watch them carefully after 15 minutes. You want them to brown but not be burned.

Eat them while warm with a dipping sauce or plain, whichever you prefer. If you serve them with a salad you have a filling nutritious supper.
Done!
Mmm good! No need for the fork just pick up in fingers!





Comments

Celia said…
I've had Empanadas with sliced black olives as well as half a hard-boiled egg and less meat, plus the potatoes in larger chunks - more sort of like a cornish pasty gone south. Nice recipe though and I'm sure I'd be wanting to spice it up - hmmm, smoked paprika too?
Celia, do you put the olives and egg inside the pastry? Or as a side?

I'm definitely going to play more with this recipe and give it some zip
Celia said…
I forgot to come back to this! Lorine, you put the olives and hard-boiled egg inside the empanada. You could also chop some green onion tops in as well. And I'd definitely spice it up quite a bit - otherwise it's rather bland - good but bland. HP is my fave, but I also love smoked paprika, or chipotle chili, or ... Heck, even curry! Enjoy.

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