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Spicy Chicken Empanadas

After Pie Party Potluck Live, you’d think that I would have had enough of pie for awhile. Well, not really. Because I was back in the kitchen, flour in hand, deftly flicking my wrist to spread the flour over my work surface just so and then taking my rolling pin in hand and making even more dough. This time for more spicy chicken empanadas.

Since my chicken empanadas were a big hit at the pie party, I thought that some people may like to have the recipe. The recipe for the chicken filling is a variation of a Cooks Illustrated recipe for chicken tacos.

The chicken filling is extremely versatile. I’ve used it in tacos, sandwiches, and just eaten it plain with no bread. It would great on nachos with some black beans, sour cream, and guacamole.

So here is the recipe. Have fun with it.

Spicy Chicken Empanadas

The Crust:

1 egg

1 tablespoon of water

3 cups All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 Tablespoons lard or butter

1 whole egg + 1 egg white

½ cup Water

Combine egg with 1 tablespoon of water, mix, and set aside. This is for the egg wash that you will use later. Combine the flour and the salt in a food processor. Add the lard or butter and blend until it is incorporated into the flour. Add the eggs and the water and pulse just until the dough comes together. Remove the dough from the food processor and knead until you form a ball that is not too wet and not too dry. It should be elastic and bounce back if you poke it. Flatten the dough ball into a disc, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Chicken filling:

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Large Onion, julienned

2 cups Orange Juice

1 or 2 Chipotle Peppers (depending on how spicy you want it), finely minced

3 Chicken Breasts (boneless or bone in)

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons Butter

Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onions and sauté them until barely caramelized.

Pour in the orange juice and add the chopped chipotle peppers.

Salt and pepper the chicken breasts and place them in the orange juice. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 9 minutes. Remove lid, turn the breasts over to the other side, recover and let them cook for an additional 9 minutes (or until an instant read thermometer registers 165° F).

Remove the chicken from the braising liquid and turn the stove off. If the liquid has gotten too thick, add a little more orange juice.

Let the chicken cool for 5-10 minutes and then shred the chicken.

Turn the heat back on. Add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce and cook the liquid down until it has thickened a little bit.

Add the butter.

When the butter is melted, add the chicken back to the mixture and cook and stir until the chicken is coated.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat.


Take the dough out of the refrigerator. Place the dough on a floured work surface and roll it out until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out the desired size of empanadas that you’d like. Place a generous portion of the chicken on the dough round, but not so much that it will be oozing out. Lightly wet the edges of the dough with water so that it will stick together. Fold the dough round over on itself so that you now have a semi-circle. Pinch the dough together and then crimp with a fork. Repeat this until you have used all of the chicken filling.  Place the empanadas on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.

Brush the tops of the empanadas with the egg wash and place into a preheated 350°F oven for 30-40 minutes, or until the dough has turned a light golden brown color.

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