Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Olives

Since I've been back from Chile, I've missed the country and the people like no other. So when it was time for my classmates and I to have our little reunion, I thought it best to make something reminiscent of our time together in Chile... empanadas! When I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen I instantly knew I had to make it. Then, when I read her review on it, I almost died from anticipation!

These empanadas were so effing good! The dough was so flaky and so easy to deal with. I was so hesitant about this recipe because it took a look of work, but it was so, so worth it. And the filling... I mean how could you go wrong with chicken, onions and chorizo!?? Honestly people, you can't. This recipe might be time consuming but is definitely worth it!

Evenly dividing the dough into 24 pieces:
Filled and formed empanadas ready to be baked:
A whole tray of delicious empanadas!

Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Olives

Yields: 24 empanadas

Original recipe from Smitten Kitchen, which can be found here.

Printable Recipe

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!


  1. Um. I am not supposed to be this hungry at 10pm. I lovvvvvvvvvve empanadas and yours look awesome!

  2. i think i'm going to try this!

  3. Nothing like empanadas de horno on a cool Puerto Montt early afternoon (maybe accompanied by a couple of pisco sours…) thanks for the recipe.

  4. Wow, I love the dough recipe! I actually used only 1/4 of the dough recipe because I didn't have that much filling ingredients. I also used a different type of filling because I didn't have anything else listed. Anyways, back to the dough. I used stick margarine because I didn't have butter but it still worked out fine! I also ended up adding a tiny bit more water since my dough was kind of dry. I didn't think it was going to turn out "flaky"as you said, but they really did (and also turned out to be tasty) so I was pleasantly surprised!! Thumbs up for the dough recipe.