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Chicken & Mushroom Empanadas

Don't let the instructions discourage you--empanadas are very easy and perfect for making ahead. Freeze a batch and pop in the oven when unexpected company arrives.
Course Snack
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 empanadas
Author Lemons & Anchovies

Ingredients

  • For the Dough Makes 14-16 empanadas:
  • cups 18¾ ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1 /2 teaspoons salt
  • 12 tablespoons 1½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubs and chilled
  • cups ice water
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • For the filling:
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, diced small
  • 6 - 8 ounces mushrooms diced
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup pitted green olives chopped
  • 1/4 - 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons hot paprika
  • Few tablespoons olive oil
  • Splash of wine I used rosé
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. To prepare the dough: Using a food processor, pulse the flour, sugar and salt about 6-8 times until combined. Add the butter pieces and pulse again (about 16 times) until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal and butter pieces are about the size of peas.
  2. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl then add ¼ cup of water at a time, stirring it in using a rubber spatula. Press the mixture against the sides of the bowl to form a dough until no small bits of flour remain (you may not need all of the water).
  3. Turn the dough out on a clean work surface and divide in two. Form each dough into a ball then flatten to a 6-inch disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (up to 2 days) before using. * You can also freeze the dough and defrost overnight before rolling it out.
  4. To prepare the filling:
  5. Sauté the mushrooms and onions in about two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and cook for 5-6 minutes until the mixture is caramelized. Add the splash of wine and deglaze the pan. Add another tablespoon or two of olive oil then add the chicken, paprika, raisins and olives. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Turn off the heat and wait until the filling cools to room temperature before using.
  6. To Assemble the Empanadas: Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Roll out one of the refrigerated disks of dough on a lightly floured surface into an 18-inch circle about ⅛ of an inch thick. Cut out 5-6 inch disks (I used a bowl) and transfer them to the parchment-lined baking sheet. I got about 8 rounds from each disk–make sure you cut the rounds carefully since you won’t be able to re-roll the scraps to make more rounds. Repeat with the remaining disks of dough.
  7. To fill the Empanadas, place 1 tbsp of the meat mixture on the dough then fold one edge of the dough over to create a half moon. Crimp the edges with the tines of a fork. The empanadas can be refrigerated up to 3 days (or frozen up to 1 month) before baking.
  8. To Bake the Empanadas, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Brush the tops of the empanadas with the egg and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. If frozen, it may take about 25 minutes. (If using the convection feature of your oven like I did, I baked mine for 21 min at 400 degrees F.