An easy Chicken Empanada Recipe for golden pastry packed with spicy sweet and sour chicken. These versatile little pockets of goodness are perfect for lunch, dinner or a delicious any-time snack!
When it comes to foods that cross the boundaries between super quick snack and I’m starving and that’s too delicious to not consider eating for dinner, we all have a few suspects that spring to mind. For hungry Australians, that can often mean the good old Aussie beef pie, flaky sausage roll, or a veggie-packed pasty.
The good news is empanadas are like delicious little soulmates to the humble pasty, and today we’re getting a little creative. Introducing: The Spicy Chicken Empanada recipe!
Whatever you decide to call them (empanadas, pasties, savoury turnovers, heck we’ve even seen them referred to as hand pies) these little golden pastry parcels make for super versatile little snacks.
Why not have some fun and:
- Cook up a big batch in advance to spoil your friends at parties
- Make them as a delicious way to use leftovers out of the fridge
- Get creative and whip up your very own empanada filling combos (mozzarella + prune + bacon = ????????????)
Chicken Empanada Recipe
First up: the pastry.
It’s worth noting the pastry will need time to settle beforehand – around two hours in fact – so it’s best to make this in advance before you get started assembling your empanadas.
Now for the filling!
Today’s spicy South American style filling features mouthwatering sweet and sour chicken amped up with extra chilli. If you’re not a fan of spice, no worries, feel free to leave the chilli out. It’s completely up to you!
To Twist Or Not To Twist
That is the question. Well actually, the question is more like “how to seal your empanadas?” The answer is really “it’s up to you”. You can seal the dough with small little twists around the edges, or press them down with a fork. It all depends on how you want them to look once cooked.
P.S. Big thanks to our friend Troy for inspiration and sharing the goodness of spicy chicken empanadas with us!
For the dough
- 150 g butter cubed
- 500 g plain flour sifted
- 1 tsp salt
For the chicken filling
- 500 g chicken breast diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 capsicum chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely diced
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- small dish of water for sealing the pastry
- 2 egg yolks lightly beaten with a fork, for basting
- 2 tbsp green chimichurri sauce to serve
For the dough
- Pop your butter and flour into a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to mix thoroughly until there are no butter lumps and the texture is crumbly.
- Next, add 1/2 cup of water into the bowl and continue mixing with your hands until your dough starts to form a ball and stops sticking to the bowl. You can add another 1/4 cup of water if necessary.
- Pop your dough out onto a flat surface and knead until smooth, then roll up in a ball, wrap in cling film or plastic wrap, and pop it in fridge for 2 hours to rest.
For the chicken filling
- Preheat your oven to 180˚C (356˚F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frypan, then add the chicken and cook on high until browned (around 5 mins). Add the brown sugar and fry for another 2 mins, making sure to coat every piece of chicken.
- Now add your chopped onion, capsicum, chilli flakes and garlic, and cook until the onion becomes translucent and capsicum starts to soften.
- Pop in your tomato paste, vinegar, and chicken stock and cook down until the flavours have blended and liquid has reduced to a thick sauce. Feel free to add salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble your empanadas
- Remove your dough from the fridge and allow to sit for 10-15 mins to come up to room temperature.
- Roll it out onto a flat surface with a rolling pin until your dough is 1/2 cm (.2 inch) thick. Use a circular pastry slicer (or a bowl) to cut out circles roughly 14 cm (5.5 inch) in diameter.
- Baste the edges of each circle with a small amount of water. This will help them seal.
- Pop 2 heaped tablespoons of filling into the centre of each pastry circle.
- Fold the pastry over the filling and seal the edges with either a twist using your fingers, or press down on the edges with the back of a fork.
- Place your assembled empanadas onto the baking paper lined baking tray and baste the tops of each with egg yolk.
- Pop them in the oven and bake until browned - they'll be ready in around 15-20 mins.
- Serve with spicy green chimichurri sauce.