I'm showing you how to make what is one of the world's greatest meat-filled pastries. Or, it can be, if you avoid the three most common mistakes: empanadas that are under-seasoned, under-filled, and under-cooked. But, if you use the following technique, you'll avoid all of those issues, no matter what kind of filling you use!
- Serves: 8 persons
- 2tablespoons olive oil
- 1yellow onion, diced
- ½cup diced poblano pepper
- 4cloves garlic, chopped
- 1teaspoon kosher salt
- ½teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ teaspoons ground dried chipotle pepper
- ½teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 3cups diced cooked chicken
- 2tablespoons dried currants
- 2(10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (such as RO*TEL®)
- ⅓cup water
- ¾cup grated pepper Jack cheese
- 1large egg, beaten
- 2teaspoons water
- 3cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- 1teaspoon white sugar
- 12tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- 1large egg, beaten
- ⅓cup cold water, or as needed
Step 1Pour olive oil into a saucepan; add onion, poblano, garlic, salt, pepper, chipotle, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and cooked chicken, pressing down as you go. Add currants.
Step 2Place saucepan over high heat; cook until onions begin to soften slightly, about 3 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes with green chiles. Pour in 1/3 cup water and mix to combine.
Step 3Bring mixture to a simmer; reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until liquids are cooked down, 30 to 45 minutes.
Step 4Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Chill thoroughly before use, 1 to 2 hours.
Step 5While filling simmers, combine flour, salt, and sugar for dough in a bowl with your hand. Grate in cold butter, pausing as needed to combine. Drizzle in beaten egg and water. Mix with a fork until it starts to form a shaggy dough.
Step 6Use your hands to squeeze mixture into a lump of dough; transfer to a work surface and knead into a ball of dough, 10 to 15 seconds.
Step 7Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to overnight.
Step 8Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 9Unwrap chilled dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Use a bench scraper to divide into 8 equal pieces.
Step 10Roll each dough piece into an 8-inch circle.
Step 11Drain any excess juice from filling. Top each dough circle with a rounded 1/2-cup measure of the chicken mixture. Sprinkle some pepper Jack cheese over top.
Step 12Brush edges of each dough circle with a small amount of water to dampen; fold over and seal with fingertips, making sure to not trap in any pockets of air. Crimp using your fingertips or a fork.
Step 13Combine beaten egg and 2 teaspoons water for egg wash. Transfer empanadas to the prepared baking sheet and brush over egg wash. Sprinkle with cayenne.
Step 14Bake in the center of the preheated oven until browned and crispy on the edges, about 35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.