Chicken Chorizo Empanadas
How do you make your own empanadas? Well, I had some chorizo and some fresh chicken in the fridge, so the idea of making chicken chorizo empanadas seemed like something that just HAD to happen. And surprising enough, It actually did happen (although the first try wasn’t very good, but that’s an altogether different story). Turns out, none of it was very hard, and you could use a good frozen package of empanada shells to make it even easier, if you care to.
The story behind empanadas, on the other hand, was a revelation — at least to me. For a lot of reasons (not the least was my own ignorance of South of the Border cooking) I assumed that empanadas were Mexican. I mean, you get them everywhere in Mexican restaurants, right? Nope. These tasty little meat pies are originally from Argentina, it turns out, and while chicken and chorizo may (or may not) have been a part of the original pies, empanadas have become such a mainstay of all cooking below the U.S., I think they probably fit the norm now.
The trick is that whether they were part of the original idea, they are first, extremely good and second, well, why not?
- Empanada Dough
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for the work surface
- 1 Tbsp. baking powder
- 2 tsps. sugar
- Pinch salt
- 1/2 cup lard or shortening
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- Kosher salt
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 7 to 8 ounces chorizo, finely diced
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- Combine all the ingredients, except the eggs and broth, into a pan and using forks or a pastry knife to combine into a bowl of pea-sized flour.
- Combine the eggs and broth and slowly add to the bowl until a dough forms. Let the dough sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Spread the dough out and cut into round shapes about 4 inches in size.
- Set the oven to about 400 degrees.
- For the filling, in a pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and a sprinkle of salt and cook until golden and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add the chorizo and paprika and cook until it starts to brown, 2–3 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the wine and broth. Bring to a boil and cook off the liquid slightly, about 4 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and stir in the chicken. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Add about 3 Tbsp. of the filling to the empanadas, fold over (using water to hold together) and place on a baking sheet with parchment paper in the bottom. Use a fork to prick the tops of each for steam vents.
- Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.