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.
AuthorLemons & Anchovies
For the DoughMakes 14-16 empanadas:
3¾cups18¾ ounces unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1 /2teaspoonssalt
12tablespoons1½ sticks unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubs and chilled
For the filling:
1poundbonelessskinless chicken breast, diced small
6 - 8ouncesmushroomsdiced
1/4 - 1/3cuppitted green oliveschopped
1/4 - 1/3cupgolden raisins
1 1/2teaspoonshot paprika
Few tablespoons olive oil
Splash of wineI used rosé
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.
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).
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.
To prepare the filling:
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.
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.
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.
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.