Reprinted with permission by Harper Collins; Photo credit: Gentl and Hyers
Makes 16-24 large empanadas or 32-36 small empanadas
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 medium red pepper, finely chopped (no seeds)
- Salt to taste (about 1/4 tsp)
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 3/4 cups roasted chicken, finely chopped (can use rotisserie chicken!)
- 5 tbsp sour cream
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (use leaves and stems)
- 12 ounces all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 4 ounces corn flour (fine)
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 ounces butter, melted
- 7 ounces greek yogurt, plain unsweetened
- 2 to 3 tbsp warm water or milk (or more, depending on humidity)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup of Mariana Valesquez's Roasted Tomato Onion Salsa
Prepare the filling:
- In a medium skillet, heat EVOO on medium heat. Cook the onion and peppers for 3-5 minutes until slightly brown.
- Add salt, pepper, coriander, cumin, and turmeric, stir well with a wooden spoon and cook for 1 more minute.
- Lower the heat and add the chicken to the skillet. Stir well, making sure you scrape all bits and pieces stuck to the skillet. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl to cool.
- Once cooled, add sour cream and fresh cilantro and mix well with a fork. The filling should be moist but not too wet for perfect empanadas.
Prepare the dough and assemble:
- In a large bowl, mix the flour, corn flour, and salt very well with a whisk. Add the melted better and mix with a fork. Add the yogurt and mix again with the fork.
- At this point you will have flour that has not been incorporated into the wet ingredients. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time, and using your hands, incorporate all ingredients until you can form a smooth ball.
- Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Reserve the piece you will use later in a bowl covered with a moist heavy duty paper towel so it doesn't dry up.
- On a floured surface, extend half of the dough with a rolling pin, pressing from the center out until it reaches a thickness of 1/8 to 1/4 inches.
- Using a round cookie cutter, press down on the dough making sure the cutter goes all the way through to the surface. Cut discs close to one another so dough isn't wasted.
- Place the discs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and cover with a moist paper towel.
- Form a ball with the leftover pieces of dough and extend again with a rolling pin, repeating the same steps for cutting out the dough.
- Place those dough discs on the lined baking sheet, cover with moist paper towel and repeat the steps with the reserved dough.
- You should have 30-32 discs if you used a 3-inch cutter, and 16 discs if you used a 4-inch cutter.
- Place a spoonful of the filling in the middle of each empanada disc.
- Use about 1 to 1 1/2 tsp of filling for the 3-inch round empanadas and 1 to 1 1/2 tbsp for the 4-inch empanadas.
- Make sure you don't under fill (the empanada will be too doughy) or overfill (the filling with leak out).
- To seal the empanadas, fold the disc and seal the edges by pressing the dough with your fingers. If you're having a hard time sealing the edges, you can brush the inside edges with egg white. You can also use a fork to help seal the edges.
- Preheat the oven to 375F for the smaller empanadas, or 400F for the larger empanadas.
- For best results, refrigerate the empanadas for 30 minutes before baking while the oven preheats.
- If you want your empanadas to have a nice golden finish, you can brush them with egg wash (a whole egg whisked or egg yolk plus a few drops of water whisked).
- Bake anywhere from 18 to 25 minutes – the empanadas will be ready once they are golden.
- Let cool and enjoy by dipping each bite into Roasted Tomato Onion Salsa and adding a squeeze of lime.