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The traditional empañada is deep fried but I wanted a real authentic empañada recipe that was baked. With a few changes I adapted this recipe from Epicurious.com, bu I had to add spice for my palate. I have also added my favorite hot sauce for a even more kicked up version which I absolutely love. A cold beer and a couple of these, I am golden. Now I am making myself hungry and want to make these tonight. The diverse flavors in this empanada is a mouth party for any foodie.
Empañada Doughyield: Makes enough for 12 pastries
- 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) very cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup ice water
- 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (pea-size) butter lumps.
Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. (Mixture will look shaggy.) This is ok, the water will be absorbed while dough is resting. Its a good thing!!
Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour
- 3 whole chicken legs, including thighs
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large onions, halved lengthwise
- 2 jalapeno peppers, minced fine
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup finely diced Spanish chorizo (casing removed)
- 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken turning over once, about 6 minutes total, and transfer to a plate.
3. Sauté onions, garlic, jalapeno and bay leaves in fat remaining in skillet, stirring frequently until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chorizo and paprika and cook, stirring 1 minute.
4. Add olives, raisins, wine, and broth and bring to a boil stirring and scraping up any brown bits.
5. Return chicken to skillet along with any juices accumulated on plate, then reduce heat to moderately low and simmer chicken, covered turning over once, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes total.
6. Transfer chicken to a clean plate. (Sauce in skillet should be the consistency of heavy cream – if it’s not, briskly simmer until slightly thickened about 5 minutes.)
7. When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and coarsely chop meat. Stir chicken into sauce and discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, then cool filling, uncovered about 30 minutes.
Roll out, form and bake the empañada:
1. Form dough into a ball, then wrap in oiled plastic wrap (oiled side in) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
2. Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Grease shallow sheet pan (1 inch deep) with 1 tablespoon oil.
3. Divide dough in half, then roll out 1 half (keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap) on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 15- by 10-inch rectangle and transfer to baking pan.
4. Spread filling evenly over dough leaving a 1 inch border, and moisten border with water.
5. Roll out remaining dough in same manner, then arrange over filling and press edges together to seal.
6. Roll edges in and press with fork to form a decorative edge.
7. Make a 1-inch hole (a steam vent) in center of empañada so it cooks properly.
8. Bake the empañadas 15 minutes, then brush crust with 3/4 tablespoon oil and bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes more.
9. Remove from oven and brush the empañadas with remaining 3/4 tablespoon oil.
10.Cool 10 minutes in pan on a rack, then slide them onto rack using a wide spatula and cool to warm.
Pour a really cold beer and enjoy these little spicy wonders of flavor.
Chef Robin White is The Daily Basics personal chef and the go-to gal for original and exciting recipes. Robin hails originally from Cape Cod and has found herself happily ensconced in Chicago. With seven restaurants to her credit, she has dedicated herself to the fine arts of food, wine and dining now in Social Media where she specializes in Virtual Dinners bringing millions of people to virtually break bread together.