Empanadas

Super bowl is great opportunity to make some tasty foods and this year I want to offer something extra special. I looked through my appetizer board on Pinterest and one thing that stuck out to me was empanadas. There are so many different recipes to choose from but I chose this recipe from myfridgefood as my inspiration. My empanada preparation was a little different and I chose to make mine a little smaller since there would be a lot to choose from at the party.

I should say that this recipe is multi-step and can be pretty labor intensive depending on how big or small your empanadas turn out. If making from scratch, you need to make the dough, make the filling, roll and cut the dough, fill the dough, and then bake the dough. There could be short cuts if you bought pre-made dough, pre-made filling, or if you ask a friend to help. The recipe you see in this how-to is doubled fyi, since it was Super bowl I wanted to make a lot.

First I made the dough using this recipe from Laylita’s Recipes but instead of using the food processor, I used a Kitchenaid mixer.

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After you make your dough it needs to refrigerate for a half hour.

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While the dough was in the fridge, I started making the filling. My recipe is a little different than my inspiration, I used more ingredients and my preparation is not exactly the same.

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Cut up your chicken into one inch cubs, and dice your onion.

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Add a 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the bottom of the pan and set to medium high heat. Then throw these ingredients into the pot at once: chicken, onions, chipotles, can of diced tomatoes, cumin, coriander, and garlic.

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Let the juice from the tomatoes and the chicken create a hot tub for the chicken and other ingredients. Stir every 5 minutes cook until the chicken is tender and shreds easily… maybe 30-45 minutes.

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Then I just took a hand potato masher to the dish and broke up the chicken, tomatoes, and peppers. Let the excess moisture cook out. I think the filling could easily be made in the crock pot, I would just add all the ingredients as I did above, put it in a crock pot on low while you go to work or run errands maybe 6-8 hours and then voila!

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Your filling will need to cool before you stuff. I made the dough and filling the night before but you could put the filling in the fridge or freezer to cool while you roll out and cut the dough. Note, the longer you let the dough sit the harder it will get because it has butter in it. Don’t worry though, as soon as it warms up a bit it will become easier to work with.

Clean a large surface:

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Dirty that same large surface with a lot of flour (and have more standing by):

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Roll out your dough, the directions say 1/8”, I just let the dough gods take over. Then use whatever tool you want to cut. I used an oval cutter, the directions call for a circle.

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Then fill! I put a little queso fresco down first, then the shredded chicken filling, fold over the sides, and then I used a fork to seal the sides. This is really the step that I think having a partner would speed up the process.

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When you start to get to the end of your filling process, turn your oven to 400 degrees. I used parchment paper (NOT WAX PAPER) when baking as much as possible as it prevents sticking and it saves on clean up. Line your empanadas up – the dough will not expand a lot so they don’t have to be that far apart.

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Make your eggs wash with 2 eggs and a few tablespoons of water. Paint the eggs wash on top and pop the empanadas in the oven for 30 minutes.

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Ingredients:

(for a single batch)

For the filling

  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
  • 1 ibs of chicken
  • 1 small can of chipotles in adobo- you will use 2 peppers and 1 tablespoon of the sauce (adjust the spice as you need it)
  • ½ tablespoon of cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of ground coriander
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 package of queso fresco

For the dough

Laylita’s Recipe

To finish:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of water

Directions

Make the dough according to Laylita’s directions either using a food processor or Kitchenaid mixer. Let it cool in the over for at least a half hour.

While the dough is cooling, chop your chicken into one inch cubes and dice your onions. Put 2 tablespoons of oil in the bottom of a pan and heat to medium high heat. Add the chicken, onions, tomatoes, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.

Let the mixture cook until the chicken is very tender and able to shred, about 30-45 minutes. Then begin shredded the chicken with forks or potato mashers. Make sure that almost all of the liquid is cooked out of the pan.

***Or throw all of these ingredients into a crock-pot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

While the filling is cooling, roll out the dough on a clean and well-floured surface. If the dough is stiff from being cool breathe on it for a few minutes (kidding), just give it some time. Roll out the dough to 1/8”. Select a round or oval pastry or cookie cutter that is 3 inches for a small empanada or 4-5 inches for a larger empanada.

Fill each piece of dough with a teaspoon to a tablespoon (depending on your size) of queso fresco and then top with as much chicken mixture that will fit. Fold over the sides and seal with a fork.

When you are getting to the end of dough filling, set the oven to 400 degrees. Lay parchment paper on a cookie sheet; line your empanadas with a little space in between.

Create an egg wash from 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons of water; mix thoroughly. Paint each empanada with the wash, bake for 30 minute and enjoy!

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