Monday, January 5, 2009

Chicken Empanadas

Our friends came over with their adorable daughter Halee, to visit and have a play date. I needed to whip up some appetizers, so I choose these yummy chicken empanadas.

Thin rounds of pie dough are stuffed with a chicken, red pepper, cumin, cream cheese mixture and baked until crispy and golden brown. I served them up with my Aunt's easy and delicious chili cheese dip. These are bit time consuming, but can be made ahead and are well worth the effort.
Chicken Empanadas
Adapted from Paula Deen
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken (I use whole cooked rotisserie chicken. It's quick and easy)
1 (8 oz) Pkg. shredded cheese
6 oz Cream Cheese
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper (I used canned red and yellow peppers)
1-2 Jalapenos, seeded and chopped (1 small can of green chilies is tasty too. Add a little red pepper flakes for heat) .
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
2 (15 oz) pkgs. pie dough
Preheat 400
Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrusts. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 scant teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
*This makes a ton of filling, so three to four pie crusts are needed. You can cut the filling mixture in half and use two pie crusts if you want.
* To spice these up a bit more, brush an egg wash on the top and sprinkle with chili powder.
My Aunt's Chili Dip
1 (8 0z) pkg. cream cheese
1 can Nalley's Chili (regular, with beans, no beans, turkey or veggie are all delicious)
1 small can green chile's
Combined all ingredients in a bowl and heat in microwave, covered for 2 minutes. Stir and heat mixture in 30 second increments until combined. You can also heat this mixture in a crock pot or a pan on the top of the stove.
Serve empanadas hot out of the oven with warm chili dip. Yum!


shauna said...

If you have any empanadas left, I could sample those as well.

Kari Hasebi said...

These were very tasty!!! Thanks for taking the time to make them and for the play date.

Bake-A-Holic said...

Thanks for coming over Kari. Halee is just adorable. Let's get together soon.


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