During my sophomore year in college I shared a lovely house with six sopranos (opera singers, not gangsters...though I often wonder which would be more violent and dramatic...)
It had one shower. Thus, it had its fair share of drama. But it was some of the most fun I've ever had in a living situation-and we did some fabulous cooking. Everyone of us had a few specialties we would add to the evening's feasts and one of my most requested contributions were these chicken empanadas.
I had recently returned to the States following a few months living in Paris. Oddly enough, while there I developed a love for all things Spanish-must have been those daily flamenco dance lessons...and no, I'm not being ironic. I really did spend every day before dinner in Paris taking 2 flamenco classes. And my poooooor soprano roommates! I would practice that stomping on the wood floor above their heads as they attempted to watch tv. I am amazed they didn't throw me out...maybe these empanadas de pollo had something to do with it.
taken from Bon Appetit
8 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into cubes
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped tomato (I used canned)
1/4 cup water
2 Tbsp. yellow raisins (I usually hate raisins but you will love them in this recipe)
2 Tbsps. chopped fresh parsley
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsps. chopped pimiento-stuffed green olives
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. dry breadcrumbs
1 batch empanada dough...or premade pizza crust, or crescent rolls, or wonton wrappers, or puff pastry...you have options. I will give you my favorite recipe but with the understanding that sometimes fast is better and crescent rolls are faster than homemade empanada dough :)
preheat oven to 400. Lightly grease or silpat or parchment a cookie sheet.
Combine first 11 ingredients (chicken through cumin) in a large sautée pan or skillet over medium high until chicken is cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Then transfer to a food processor; grind coarsely (a few pulses is all it takes.)
Transfer to medium bowl, add in breadcrumbs, s&p to taste. If you have the patience, allow to cool in the fridge for an hour. I never do so I go right on to the next step:
Roll out your dough of choice to a thin-crust pizza-like thickness (aka-thin, but thick enough to not fall apart with filling.) and make empanadas of desired size. I cut the dough into about the size of a CD and fill with about a clementine's worth of dough.
Then a press the edges together well and brush tops with an egg wash.
Put all empanadas on sheet (this may take 2 batches or more.) And cook until dough is lightly browned, about 12 minutes in my oven. Some recipes call for deep frying the empanadas, which you are welcome to do, but I prefer them non-greasy and baked.
Serve with some gazpacho and sangria! Bon Appetit!
HOMEMADE WHOLE WHEAT EMPANADA DOUGH
(yeast-FREE, so delicious and fast!)
from Gil Marks
1/4 vegetable oil (canola)
1 stick butter, melted
1/4 lukewarm water
2.5 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 tsp salt.
1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
In a medium bowl beat together the oil, butter, water, vinegar and salt. Gradually work in enough flour to make a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (I usually do the recipe as written and then need to add a Tbsp or two of water.) Don't overwork. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or up to 1 day.