chorizo and chicken empanadas

chorizo and chicken empanadas

I’ve been a bit stuck trying to decide what to tell you about this week. As you might have noticed, it’s chucking it down, and the earl grey blackberry ice cream I thought would make a perfect turn-of-the-seasons recipe suddenly seems completely inappropriate. Nobody wants ice cream when their socks are damp and they’ve rain trickling down the back of their neck, surely.

Even these empanadas nearly didn’t make the cut: empanadas are from Brazil; Brazil is a sunny place; it is not sunny here; therefore we can’t have empanadas. My logic is faultless, right?

But then I had a brainwave: chorizo! It goes in stews! You have those in winter; you can TOTALLY eat empanadas in October! Which is a relief, because they are a very good way of becoming more cheerful when the aforementioned socks are drip-drying over the radiator that you still refuse to turn on because that would be admitting defeat, also your gas bill has somehow gone up £16 over summer. How?

Anyway. Empanadas:

Recipe after the jump.

chorizo and chicken empanadas
From Smitten Kitchen, where it was adapted from Gourmet, January 2005. Easily the best empanadas I have ever eaten. The pastry makes enough for an extra 6, but it was fine in the freezer – just get it out the morning you want them for dinner and defrost it in the fridge.

Makes 18 empanadas; 3 each with some salad is a nice lunch amount.

For the pastry:
560g plain flour
3tsp salt
225g butter
2 eggs
160ml very cold water
2 tbsp white wine vinegar

For the filling:
3 whole chicken legs (or 900g bone-in chicken)
Salt and pepper
4 1/3tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, cut into 1/2cm-wide strips
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
50g chorizo, finely diced
1/2tsp mild smoked paprika
Handful green olives, stoned and chopped
125ml white wine
125ml chicken stock

1 egg, to glaze

Make the pastry:
Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl, and then cut the butter in with your fingers or a pastry blender until there are some pea-sized lumps of butter left.

Beat the eggs with the water and vinegar, then add this to the flour mix and stir with a fork until the mixture just comes together. Gather together with your hands and knead once or twice, just enough to bring it together into a ball. Divide into two and put into the fridge for at least an hour.

Make the filling:
Season the chicken. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large pan over a medium heat, then brown the chicken for about 3 minutes each side. Transfer to a plate, then put the onions, garlic and bay leaf in the pan with the rest of the oil and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft.

Add the chorizo and paprika and cook for another minute, then add the olives, wine and stock and bring to a boil. Tip the chicken back into the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 25 minutes, turning the chicken over halfway through.

Remove the chicken onto a clean plate, and simmer the remaining sauce until it’s the thickness of double cream (it may be there already). Shred the chicken and stir it back into the sauce, fishing out the bay leaf. Season and leave to cool.

Make the empanadas:
Preheat the oven to 200℃.

Divide 3/4 of the pastry into 18 pieces. For each empanada, roll out a piece of pastry into a 12cm disc and spoon 2tbsp of the filling into the centre, folding in half and crimping the edges to keep the filling in. Put onto a lined baking sheet.

Brush the empanadas with beaten egg and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown.


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