Empanadas with Argentinian Chicken Filling

This recipe was created in honor of BA’s Gaby Melian, whose mother told her to leave out the green pepper if she wanted to make a true chicken empanada. In Argentina, a hard-boiled yolk is often added to the mixture, but Gaby and her family prefer it without. Here are step-by-step directions. Get the recipe for beef empanadas here.

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Ingredients
About 36

2

Pounds of skinless and boneless chicken thighs

2

Bay leaves

3

Olive oil tablespoons

2

Large onions chopped

1

Medium green bell peppers, seeds, chopped

1

Medium red bell peppers, seedsealed, chopped

Kosher Salt, freshly ground Pepper

3

Tomato paste, tablespoons

2

Sweet paprika, tablespoons

1

Oregano dried in a tablespoon

1/4

Cayenne pepper, a teaspoon

3

Packages (12 each) of Puff Pastry for Empanadas/Turnovers (preferably Goya).

Preparation
Step 1
Cook chicken for 30-40 minutes in a medium-sized pot with bay leaves and 2 1/2 cups of water on medium heat. Transfer the chicken to a serving plate, discarding bay leaves. Reserve broth. Allow chicken to cool until it is safe to handle. Then coarsely chop.

Step 2
In the meantime, heat oil over medium in a large pan and stir fry onion and bell peppers until they are tender but not brown, about 6-8 minutes. Season with black pepper and salt. Stir in tomato paste, and cook for 1-2 minutes until it turns brick red. Stirring constantly, add paprika oregano and cayenne. Cook for about a minute. Add the reserved broth, chicken and any juices accumulated to the pot. Add 4 tsp. Add 1/4 tsp. Black pepper. Stir and scrape up any brown bits as you bring the mixture to a boil. Cook until most of liquid has evaporated (about 15-20 minutes). Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Transfer to a large bowl, cover and chill for at least three hours.

Step 3
Pre-heat oven to 375deg. Allow dough to sit at room temp for 15 minutes. Remove six rounds from the package. Keep the plastic divider under them and arrange them on your work surface. Place 2 tbsp. Filling into the center of each circle. Brush water along the outer half of each round. Fold round over the filling using a plastic divider as a guide. Pinch edges to seal. With a fork, press the edges. Transfer empanadas to parchment-lined sheets, leaving 1″ between them. Repeat with the remaining rounds. You’ll end up with about 12 empanadas per tray.

Step 4
Bake the empanadas for 25-35 minutes, rotating the tray half way through.

Step 5
Make the filling 3 days in advance. Keep chilled. Make the empanadas 3 months in advance; freeze them on a sheet tray and then transfer them to freezer bags.


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