Monday, June 20, 2011

Chicken Empanadas

Makes 12 empanadas

Filling ingredients:
3 cups cooked shredded chicken breasts
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 sun-dried tomatoes, drained and diced
1-2 cloves garlic
3 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons minced cilantro
2 teaspoons chili powder
4 oz. canned green chilies
salt and pepper, to taste
12 empanada discs (I prefer the frozen 5-inch Goya “discos,” which come 10/pack and have plastic sheets separating each disk. They thaw in an hour at room temperature.)
egg/olive oil wash, kosher salt

Mix all filling ingredients in a large bowl, adjusting seasoning as necessary. Remove one disc and wet the edge with a bit of water. Using approximately ¼ cup filling per empanada, place filling in center of thawed disc dough and fold over, pressing and sealing edges together with the tines of a fork (or using a plastic empanada press - available at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, which makes the process much easier!) Continue wetting/ filling/sealing the empanadas, placing on a baking sheet before flash freezing. (Tip: to fit more empanadas on the baking sheet, instead of laying them flat, stand the empanadas side-by-side, using the plastic wrappers from the package of discs to keep them from sticking to each other.) Once frozen, the empanadas can be removed from the baking sheet and placed in a freezer bag for easy storage.

To prepare:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place frozen empanadas on cookie sheet, brushing with egg wash or olive oil. (The egg wash will give you a nicer brown color, but the olive oil adds more flavor.) Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden. Serve with salsa or sour cream.

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