Empanadas - Chicken or Beef?

Empanadas - Chicken or Beef?

harry udell


Empanadas are delicious crispy dough stuffed with succulent and juicy fillings.  You can stuff them with anything!  These particular two types that were made in the photo are chicken and beef. The chicken empanada was roasted chicken that was seasoned with cumin, garlic, salt, pepper, cilantro, lime zest and oil.  Then placed in the oven on 400 degrees for about 1 hour, depending on the size of the chicken.

After it is done cooking pull it out of the oven and let it rest until you are able to pull it apart with your fingers, about an hour or two.  While you are waiting you can do your other preparation, (mise en place).  The other ingredients you’ll need for your filling.  This recipe I  added diced potatoes (pre cooked and cooled), pico de gallo, which is 1 part red onions, 3 parts diced deseeded tomatoes, handful of fresh cleaned cilantro, squeezed fresh lime to taste, salt and pepper as needed.  Make enough so that you can have some for dipping.  Then add some shredded cheese of your liking and raisins, red or golden, your choice.  Mix the ingredients all together then use a spoon and scoop enough filling Into the center of the empanada dough. I prefer the Goya brand, you can find the 10 pack in the frozen section in most supermarkets.  Use a fork to crimp the ends together after you fold the empanada into a half mooned shape.  You can whisk water and 1 egg together to brush on the top to get a golden brown crust. Also make sure you oil the sheet trey before you place the nicely folded and stuffed pastry on the trey for baking.  Once all of the filing is used and stuffed into the empanada dough, then you place your egg wash onto your pastries, then place the trey into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown at 350 degrees in a preheated oven.

The recipe for the beef empanada was a beef chuck steak that was sliced very thin and into small pieces, then add chopped onions, sliced garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, paprika, Worcester sauce, chipotle in adobo (for a little heat). Let the meat marinate with all the ingredients before you cook it.  You then sauté everything all together until cooked through, then place on a plate too cool. Once the mixture is cool enough that you can touch it, stuff the filling into the empanada doughs and do the same procedure that you did for the chicken.  Place a spoon full or two in the center, then fold into a half moon and crimp with a fork to seal all open edges.  Use the same baking process too.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, until they are golden brown on top.  You can also put them in the air fryer to cook if you are in a rush and don’t have enough time to preheat the oven and bake the stuffed pastries.

The salad that was served with the empanadas was a jicama cabbage slaw.  I used fine julienned savoy cabbage, julienne jicama, sliced red onion, chopped scallions, white vinegar and rice wine vinegar, salt, pepper, sugar and chopped fresh cilantro at the end (if you happen to have mae ploy, add some of that also, to the mix.  Then stir all the ingredients together and let sit for a little while to marinate. 

The green sauce on the side is a roasted tomatillo puree.  You take quartered cleaned and skinned tomatillos, halved shallots, whole garlic cloves, large diced white onion, deseeded jalapeño and toss with oil, salt, pepper and toasted freshly ground cumin.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the vegetables get a nice char on them, to add depth to the sauce.  Once the ingredients are done cooking, take them out and let them cool.  Once they have cooled down put all the vegetables into a cuisinart and puree.  As pureeing add fresh cilantro, freshly squeezed lime juice and some olive oil to emulsify the sauce and pull it together.  Taste your sauce and add salt and pepper as needed. 

You can make the sauce and the slaw the day before to help you time your meal better.  When you are making the slaw, you can mix all the ingredients together except the cabbage.  Add the cabbage before you are going to serve the slaw.  Another trick is to crush the cabbage with your hand, it will help tenderize the cabbage when you are mixing in the jicama and all the vinegars and seasonings.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me through email, facebook or instagram.  Enjoy your eats!

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