Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Olives
Yields: 24 empanadas
For the dough:
4 1/2 cups flour
3 tsp. salt
2 sticks/ 1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 large eggs
2/3 cup ice water
2 tbsn. distilled white vinegar
For the filling:
3 whole chicken legs, 2 1/4 lbs. total
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 1/2 tbsn. extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch strips
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
1/3 cup finely diced Spanish chorizo
1/2 tsp. Spanish smoked paprika
1/4 cup chopped, pitted green olives
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
For the egg wash:
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tbsn. water
To make the dough, sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and blend in the butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until it resembles a coarse meal with pea-sized butter lumps. Beat together the egg, water and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to the flour mixture, stirring until incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, knead with the heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring the dough together. Form into two flat rectangles and chill then, at least 1 hour at max 6 hours.
To make the filling, pat the chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsn. oil in a large skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Brown the chicken, turning over once about 6 minutes total and transfer to a plate. Saute the onions, garlic and bay leaves in the skillet, stirring frequently until onions are softened, about 4 - 5 minutes. Add the chorizo and paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add olives, wine and broth and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping any brown bits. Return chicken to skillet along with juices accumulated on the plate, then reduce heat to low and simmer the chicken, covered, turning over once, until tender, about 25 - 30 minutes total.
Transfer the chicken to a clean plate. Sauce in the pan should be the consistency of heavy cream, if not, continue to simmer until thickened. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat and discard the skin and bones. Stir chicken into the sauce and discard the bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, if needed and then cool the filling, uncovered for about 30 minutes.
To form the empanadas, put the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 400 F. Divide the dough into 24 equal pieces and form each into a disk. Keeping the 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 2 tbsn. of filling into the center and fold in half, enclosing the filling. Press edges to seal, then crimp decoratively with a fork. Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Lightly brush empanadas with the egg wash and bake in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, switching position halfway through baking, until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool at least 5 minutes.
YUMMMM, spreading hot sauce all over this baby!