Monday, June 9, 2014

chicken empanadas

An empanada, which means "to wrap or coat in bread", is basically meat and/or vegetables wrapped in pastry before being fried or baked, much like calzones, samosas and curry puffs. 

I love making things with pastry.

The thing, though, is, my kitchen tends to get really hot, so unless I work REALLY fast, my pastries tend to lose their shapes because of the heat.

So today, I decided to work really fast, and I made some empanadas because I had some chicken I wanted to use up.
I really like pastries. I mean, what's not to like? They are small and compact, making them very convenient to eat, and they are also fun and tasty.

I started by making the filling for the empanadas.

I seasoned the diced chicken with salt and pepper before cooking the chicken in olive oil until they turned opaque. The chicken would be cooked again later.
I added the rest of the ingredients and mixed everything until it was well-combined.
I floured a clean work surface and using my pastry/cookie cutter (you can use a glass, a bowl, whatever that's handy), I cut rounds.
I placed a heaping tablespoon of the filling in the middle of each round.
Then I brushed the edges of each round with water.
The dough was folded over, and I pressed on the edges with a fork to seal.
The empanadas were placed on a lined baking tray and baked for about 15 minutes, or until they turned golden brown.
And that was it!
Easy, peasy mini hand-held pies.

I would never have thought of adding cream cheese to pies, but now that I realised how tasty it is, I shall be making pies with cream cheese a lot more often!

Chicken Empanadas (Makes 30)
Adapted from Paula Deen

3 cups (About 2 half breasts) chopped, cooked chicken
1 (8-ounce/ 225g) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces (112.5g) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper - I used one medium bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped - I omitted this
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts - I used one pack (6 sheets) ready-rolled puff pastry

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. 3. Unroll 1 pie-crust (or puff pastry) onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. 
4. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. 
5. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining pie-crusts.
6. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. 
7. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. 
8. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. 
9. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). 
10. Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

This post is linked to Cook like a Star, Paula Deen and the Deen Brothers organised by me the Domestic Goddess Wannabe, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Want to cook or bake like Paula Deen or the Deen Brothers? To join, simply cook or bake any recipe from their websites or cookbooks and link with us at this (Joyce's), this (Zoe's) or this (Diana's), post for the whole of June 2014.
To use this linky tool, please make sure that:
(1) Your post is posted in June 2014.
(2) Please mention Cook like a Star in your post and link back to us at Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe, Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Joyce from Kitchen Flavours.

For more details, please see this.

I am also linking this post to Bake-Along, organised by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours, Lena, from Frozen wings and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.


  1. this chicken empanadas looks like curry puff to me :)

  2. Hi Diana,

    I love chicken empanadas too. This quick and convenient of making chicken empanadas sounds really good.


  3. Hi Diana,
    One of my favourite snacks! Looks so good! I could finish off a couple of these! Yummy!

  4. hi diana, i ve tried adding cheese to my chicken pies too before and i like it. nvr tried cream cheese before but that sounds good to me. Your empanadas are very well shaped, thx for linking to bake along!