Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Olives

psag
Posted on 05/09/2012 by leslie_levine
These empanadas are addictive, really. The process to make them is a little involved, seeing as you have to make the empanada dough, braise the chicken and then shred it off the bone, and do the whole filling and baking process. But let me tell you, they are worth it. The flavors are spot on and that flakey and buttery pie crust of a casing is awesome. So if you have a Sunday afternoon and are in the mood for some delicious, flavor-filled pockets of crispy goodness, try these out! I served them along with an orange-jicama and cilantro salad and the whole meal was fantastic.

Inside the Empanadas

You can find more details and pictures at my blog, The Moveable Feasts.

You can also find the recipe under the 

Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Olives
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen, who adapted it from Gourmet
Makes about 18 empanadas
Notes: My only changes to the recipe is that I would add more chorizo, noted below. Also, the dough may feel a little tough when forming it, but have no fear! It will bake up beautifully flakey and buttery and not rubbery in the slightest. I think it’s just a heartier dough to hold the empanadas. You will (probably) have extra dough leftover, which can be used for any other experimentations of empanadas that you like. Also, you may flute the edge any way you desire.
Dough:
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs
2/3 cup ice water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
Filling:
3 whole chicken legs, including thighs (2 to 2 1/4 lb total)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
2/3 cup finely diced Spanish chorizo (cured spiced pork sausage; 3 oz; casings discarded)
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (not hot)
1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
Egg Wash:
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water
To make the dough, 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 (roughly 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.) 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. (Deb note: If you use a large-ish bowl, you can do this step in-bowl.) Form dough into two flat rectangles and chill them, each wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. Dough can be chilled up to 6 hours total.
To make the filling, pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch 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. Sauté onions, garlic, 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. Add olives, wine, and broth and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits. 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.
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.) 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.
To form the empanadas, put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Divide first dough and half of second dough into 18 equal pieces and form each into a disk. (The remaining dough can be stored in the freezer for future use.) Keeping remaining pieces covered, roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 5-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick).
Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling onto center and fold dough in half, enclosing filling. Press edges together to seal, then crimp decoratively with your fingers or tines of a fork. Transfer empanada to a baking sheet. Make 17 more empanadas in same manner, arranging on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.
Lightly brush empanadas with some of egg wash and bake in upper and lower thirds of oven, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

fickletastictot 10th-May-2012 06:48 am (UTC)
Hnngh, empanadas. My number one savoury baked-good weakness. ;_;

I've always wanted to make them so I think I'll try these out soon.
phenomenal 10th-May-2012 01:56 pm (UTC)
Yum! The filling in these looks delicious!
nimrod_9 10th-May-2012 04:25 pm (UTC)
Looks yummy! Wish I could find cured chorizo near me...it's all mexican style and raw. *sigh*.....*vows to mix chicken with olives regardless*
sleepwalker41 11th-May-2012 11:53 am (UTC)
I was hoping someone would post empanadas this month. This filling looks very flavorful.
popdatpussy 11th-May-2012 09:56 pm (UTC)
Looks good
mylove_and_rain Great job!25th-May-2012 11:51 pm (UTC)
YUMMM, my "Spanish" mother (host mother) used to make a version of these when I was studying in Spain. These look a bit more sophisticated, and I know they take a while. Great job!
raptorbandit 2nd-Jul-2012 05:23 pm (UTC)
I've finally found what I've been craving. Must try this recipe.
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