Empanadas son la vida. Empanadas son el amor. How do you like my high school level Spanish? Pretty great, right? Bueno! I can literally feel all of the Spanish teachers and native speakers cringing right now. Lo siento. This week’s challenge was Cuban style, so naturally I took the opportunity to turn up the heat and make some amazing Huevos Habaneros. But of course, the heat in these eggs needed some balance and
chicken empanadas empanadas de pollo fit the bill perfectly. And luckily, turned out to be pretty easy to make too.
Ponámonos a trabajar, amigos!
Begin by bringing the cream cheese and butter to room temp then cream together the entire block of cream cheese and 1/2 stick of the butter in a large bowl with a hand mixer.
Slowly add the flour 1/4 cup at a time until a crumbly dough forms.
Use your hands to blend in the last 1/2 stick of butter and knead until a soft dough forms. Use a little extra flour if the dough is super sticky. Then cover with foil and refrigerate for an hour (or if you’re like me, just while you prepare the other ingredients and take pictures of them).
While your dough chills, start a sofrito by chopping your onions and garlic, and Chile peppers if you’re daring! As you can see, I wasn’t. Toss into a pan with a tablespoon of butter and saute until the onion is turning translucent. Remove from the pan and reserve oil left in pan.
Cube your chicken breast into tiny chunks and add to the pan. Cook for a few moments to get them browning, then add the cooking wine, spices, and lemon and lime juice.
Bring to a boil and add the onions.
Let simmer for a few minutes and soak in the savory sweet smell.
Reduce the heat and add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the filling has thickened.
Remove from heat entirely and let cool until room temperature.
Alright, time for my favorite part! Rolling out the dough! Begin by separating the single large dough ball into 2 halves. Then take each half and divide it down the middle so you have 4 small balls of dough. Repeat the division process to get 8 small dough balls. This method ensures that your dough will be evenly distributed and there won’t be any leftover!
Flour a work surface and roll out each dough ball, one at a time.
Take about a tablespoon to a tablespoon and a half of the filling and place into the center of your flattened dough.
Fold your dough over the filling and secure the edges by pressing down. I did try using a fork and it definitely didn’t work as well as using my hands. Trim with a pizza roller for smooth edges!
Brush with the eggwash and then bake at 375 F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Disfrútalo!
Empanadas de Pollo
FOR EMPANADA DOUGH:
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Begin by forming your dough by creaming together the cream cheese and 1/2 stick of butter. Add flour slowly until crumbly dough forms, then use the remaining 1/2 stick of butter to create a soft dough. Refrigerate 1 hour.
- Chop the onions, garlic, and Chile peppers (if using), and toss in to a pan over medium high heat with a tablespoon of butter. Saute until the onion is turning translucent, then remove from the pan.
- In the same pan, add the cubed chicken and cook until just browning. Then add the white wine, cumin, cilantro, lemon and lime juices and bring to a boil.
- Add the onions and reduce the heat. Add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time to the mix to thicken it. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for an hour.
- Take the chilled dough and separate it into eighths. Dust a work surface with flour and use a rolling pin to flatten the balls to about 1/8 inch thick.
- Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the center of each flattened ball, then fold over the edges and press together. Use a pizza cutter to trim the edges.
- Brush with the egg and water glaze, then pop into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve warm. Save leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!