Spicy Chicken and Pickled Jalapeno Empanadas
Here's a great combo to consider for your next batch of homemade empanadas: spicy chicken and pickled jalapenos. Don't forget to chill the dough before rolling it out as this will keep them light and flaky.
- 1/2 cup pickled jalapenos
- 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese
For the chicken:
- 1 large chicken breast (or 2 smaller breasts)
- 1 Tablespoon crushed New Mexican chile or your choice of chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped onion
For the empanada dough:
- 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 6 oz. butter (1.5 sticks)
- 1.5 teaspoons salt
- 2 small eggs
- 1/2 cup ice cold water
- 1.5 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar)
- 1 egg (for the eggwash)
Start by mixing 1.5 teaspoons of salt into 3 1/4 cups of flour. Dice up 6 oz. of butter (1.5 sticks) into small 1/2" chunks and plop them into the flour. Use your fingers to disintegrate some of the butter into the mixture but don't worry about getting all of the butter dissolved. Mix it in just enough to make the mixture crumbly with a few chunks of butter laying about.
In a bowl, combine 2 small eggs, 1.5 tablespoons vinegar, and 1/2 cup ice cold water. Add this mixture to the flour and use a fork or spatula to roughly combine.
Dump onto a work surface but resist the temptation to knead! Just combine it enough to form a cohesive ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours.
Chop a single chicken breast into bite-sized pieces and combine with the listed seasoning ingredients in a bowl. Saute 2-3 Tablespoons of onion in a drizzle of oil over medium high heat for a few minutes. Add the chicken and cook 3-5 minutes per side or until done. Set aside until needed.
Finely dice the jalapenos. Cut the cheese into chunks.
Once the dough has been chilled you can roll it out. If using a cutting board roll out 1/4 of the dough at a time. Sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with flour before starting. Roll the dough down to 1/4" thickness or less.
Use a biscuit cutter or bowl to cut out circles of empanada dough. Fill each round with 1-2 Tablespoons of chicken mixture, some diced jalapeno, and plenty of cheese chunks. Lift both edges of the round and seal the edges using your fingers. Use a fork to seal the edges further.
For the eggwash, crack an egg in a bowl, add a splash of water and whisk. Brush the empanadas with the eggwash.
Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
Dough recipe adapted from a popular recipe on Epicurious.
Don't worry about disintegrating all of the butter into the flour, leaving a few chunks will help the dough form layers.
Chilling the dough before rolling it out is muy importante.
Resist the temptation to knead the dough.
Using cold butter and ice cold water is recommended.