Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chicken Empanadas

First in Spain a million years ago (okay, so not a MILLION, but a really long time ago), empanadas were then carried to other Latin countries, including those as far away as in Latin American and the UK (where do you think Cornish Pasties came from?). Every country, even many regions within countries, have their own version of an empanada, but suffice it to say the universal empanada consists of seasoned meat or vegetables stuffed into a pastry of some sort, folded into a pocket and fried or baked. They can be eaten hot, warm or cold and are delicious!
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 and ½ pounds boneless chicken thighs (or breasts), diced small
1 and ½ teaspoons American chili powder (the type that is not hot)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ beef bouillon cube, crumbled
¼ teaspoon smoked, sweet paprika (or spicy for heat)
200 grams (6 ounces) tin of tomato puree (if you can get Chair de Tomate, use it)
6 thin spring onions, sliced
12-18 pimento stuffed green olives (I love Tabasco’s spicy green olives), sliced
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
Small handful chopped cilantro (coriander)

Packaged, pre-rolled short crust, pie or pizza dough—enough to make about 40 small empanadas.

1) Heat the oil in a large sauté pan then add in the chicken and sauté until just done. Alternatively, use cooked chicken, chopped up, and just cook the sauce then add the chicken to it. Pour the tomato puree and everything else except the boiled eggs, cilantro and olives (and dough…duh). Stir and allow to simmer—it should be the consistency of chili. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs, cilantro and olives. Allow to cool at room temperature, then stash in the refrigerator to get cold.

2) Lay the pre-rolled pastry or dough out and cut into 4” by 4” squares or use a large coffee mug to trace circles onto the dough. Fill one side of the dough square or circle with 1 heaping tablespoon of chicken filling, then fold the other side over top and seal—crimp edges, use egg wash, whatever gets the job done.
Brush with egg wash and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (400F) until golden.

Makes about 40 empanadas. Heat up any left-over filling and spoon over salad greens for a killer salad!


Braxton Blight said...

Coming late to this party but what a great recipe! I made them this afternoon and they turned out fantastic. I think the ones I was making were much bigger than they were supposed to be but they tasted fine so what's the harm eh?

JennyB said...

Braxton!! So glad you are hear and reading and cooking and eating with us!
Please let me know how your cooking adventures go!