Saturday, July 28, 2012

Chicken Empanadas

Before starting on the dough which would be the most time consuming I wanted to marinate the chicken.

For my marinade I used :

  • Paprika 
  • Garlic 
  • Pepper 
  • One shot of Citron Tequila  
  • Thyme 
Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit while you prepare the dough.

For the empanada dough recipe I looked up a few different variations. The one I ended up going with calls for the following:
  • 3/4 cup of cold water
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp. of white vinegar 
  • 3 cups of flour
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 3 tablespoons of shortening, I used Crisco's Vegetable shortening

In a separate bowl beat the egg, egg white, vinegar, and water together.

I beat the egg white first before adding the other ingredients. Whipping some air into the egg white adds to the volume of the mixture.

 Mix the flour and the salt together. 

Add the shortening into the flour mix and blend thoroughly. 

Make a well in the center of the flour, and pour the liquid mixture into the flour. 

Slowly mix the ingredients all together with a fork until it becomes more solid.

Begin to knead the dough until it gets more solid. 
Sprinkle some flour onto a hard flat surface, place the dough on the surface, and knead until the dough is smooth. 

Once the dough is smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least one hour. You can freeze the dough but it is better if it's used on the day you make it. It makes about 15-20 three inch empanadas.

Once you're done with the dough start preparing the chicken. 

Take the chicken and place it in a baking dish. Add some crushed tomatoes to the baking dish and some chicken stock. Roast it in the oven for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 

While that is cooking, dice 1/4 cup of green chili peppers 
and one yellow onion. 
Take the diced onion and caramelize it in a skillet with a little bit of olive oil and salt. 

Add the chilies cook for 2 minutes and remove from the heat and reserve in the skillet. 

After the chicken is done cooking remove from the oven and allow it to sit for five minutes. 

Remove the chicken from the baking dish and shred it using two forks into bite sized pieces. Add the chicken to the onion and chili mixture in the pan with 2 tablespoons of Old El Pico Taco seasoning mix for chicken. Cook this mixture on low heat for 3-5 minutes. Remove it from the heat. 

Roll out your dough onto a floured surface. Use a measuring cup as a gauge for how big you would like your empanadas to be. 


Cut the dough into your desired size circle and fill with the chicken mixture. Remember that you will have to seal the dough completely around the mixture so for a 3 inch diameter empanada you would fill it with approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of your desired mixture. 

Then fold over the dough into a half moon shape. Take a fork and pinch the two halves of the dough together. Repeat this until you have used up all the dough. 

Place a clean frying pan with approximately 1/4 inch of olive oil onto medium heat.

Test that the oil is sufficiently hot by putting in it a small amount of the scrap dough you have left over. If it begins to cook the oil is hot enough. Remove from the oil to prevent it from burning.

Cook one to two empanadas at a time for about 2 -3 minute per side. you will be able to tell that the empanada is ready once it turns a golden brown color. The reason for cooking them individually is so that the oil maintains the correct temperature. If you were to try to cook too many at one time the oil wouldn't be hot enough and the dough instead of getting crispy would get soggy and slimy.

Once it has completely cooked place it onto a plate lined with a paper towel so as to absorb any extra oil from the empanada.

Repeat until all the empanadas are thoroughly cooked.

You can serve these with sides of guacamole, salsa and sour cream.

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