Chicken Chorizo Empanadas ~ #FirstOnTheFirst

by Kate on August 1, 2012

Chicken Chorizo Empanadas

Empanadas are one of my all-time favorite foods. I’m lucky because my sister-in-law is Dominican so any time there’s a family event or dinner at my brother’s house, surely there will be empanadas served. I’m also fortunate to work in an area that has a ridiculous amount of Columbian, Portuguese, Peruvian, Uruguayan, Cuban, and Dominican restaurants, just to name a few. It’s a very ethnically diverse city. Each of these restaurants serve empanadas.

What I like best about having so many different types of Latin restaurants in one area is that they each make empanadas slightly differently but they are all amazingly good, not to mention all their other food too! I eat very well when I work. Some empanadas are made with a crust much like a savory pie crust while others have a cornmeal crust. They can be baked or fried. They are made with a wide range of fillings such as seasoned beef, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, olives, raisins, onions, chorizo and even potatoes too. At the Colombian places they’ll often serve it with a green sauce. I don’t know exactly what’s in it but I always taste fresh cilantro, a little black pepper, some oil and lemon juice. I honestly don’t know if there’s more to it but it’s great stuff. I love them all. I do not discriminate against any empanadas!

When it came time to decide what was in store for First on the First this month, Carrie and I decided to  challenge ourselves as well as the rest of our group to try making our own empanadas at home. I’m so glad we went this route but this may be very dangerous for my waistline. If I can make my own empanadas now, I’m in some serious trouble. I decided to make empanadas filled with chicken and chorizo.

The chicken is first browned a bit in the pan. Next onions, garlic and the chorizo take a spin in the skillet and are rejoined by the chicken, a little chicken broth, white wine and some smoked paprika (this is my favorite spice lately! Using it everywhere. So good.) They all simmer together for a bit until the chicken is juicy and tender. The chicken takes on all the flavors from the spicy chorizo, garlic, onions and spices making it incredibly flavorful. Then it all comes together inside the flaky dough. I baked mine and just moments out of the oven I had to try them to see how I did. I don’t know how authentic my version is but I can tell you that the flavors were bold and satisfying. These empanadas have the kind of flavors that just make your whole body say “Mmm…” These will be made again in my household and now I’ll need to give other variations a try. Hope you give them a try too!

We would love to see what you might create next month so why don’t you join in on the fun? As we say a fond farewell to summer, we’ll be making cold soup next month. So let your imagination run wild and let’s see what you can come up with. If you’re interested in joining us, you can find out more information HERE. Hope to hear from you!




One Year Ago: August Pie 


Chicken Chorizo Empanadas

1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Chicken Chorizo Empanadas


    For the Dough:
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup ice water
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • For the Filling:
  • 3 whole chicken legs, including thighs (2 to 2 1/4 pounds total)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely diced Spanish chorizo
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon of water


    Make the Crust:
  1. Sift flour with salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and combine with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some pea-size butter lumps.
  2. Beat together the egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. It should look shaggy.
  3. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.
  4. Make the Filling:
  5. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.
  6. Brown the chicken on both sides, turning over once, about 6 minutes total, and transfer to a plate.
  7. Sauté the onions, garlic, and bay leaves in the same skillet in the remaining oils stirring frequently, until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  8. Add chorizo and paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the wine, and broth. Bring to a boil, stirring.
  9. Return chicken to the skillet along with any juices accumulated on plate, then reduce heat to moderately low and simmer chicken, covered, turning over once, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes total.
  10. Transfer chicken to a clean plate. (Sauce in skillet should be the consistency of heavy cream; if it's not, briskly simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.)
  11. When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and coarsely chop meat. Stir chicken into sauce and discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, then cool filling completely, uncovered, about 30-45 minutes.
  12. Preheat oven to 400°F. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and form each into a disk by rolling each out on a lightly floured surface with a rolling pin into a 5-inch round, about 1/8-inch thick.
  13. Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling into center and fold dough in half, enclosing filling. Press the edges together and seal with the tines a fork. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Transfer empanadas to a baking sheet.
  14. Lightly brush empanadas with the egg wash and bake in middle of the oven until golden, about 20-25 minutes. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
  15. Enjoy!


Inspired by Gourmet | January 2005

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Carrie @ poet in the pantry August 1, 2012 at 10:12 am

Yours are beautiful! I’m so ashamed of mine.. I need to make them again. I like that you went the savory route! I’ve never even eaten an empanada before this, so sweet seemed much safer for me.


Kate August 1, 2012 at 5:41 pm

Don’t be ashamed of yours!! I loved your concept even if it didn’t turn out exactly as you had hoped. I’m so glad you like mine 🙂 I am an empanada addict!


Anna @ hiddenponies August 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm

YUM, yours look amazing! You do have a good empanada history it sounds like 🙂 I can’t believe I’ve never even had one until now!


Kate August 1, 2012 at 9:32 pm

Thanks Anna! I loved your version 🙂


Donna @ What the Dog Ate August 2, 2012 at 2:09 am

Oh wow! Those look and sound amazing. I didn’t get a chance to make my empanadas this month, so I think I’ll try out yours. Yum!


Kate August 2, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hope you like them Donna!! Let me know what you think 😉 I would love to hear


Michelle August 4, 2012 at 8:20 pm

I LOVE EMPANADAS!! We fry ours, and only make them savory (Dominican Style of course) I’ve never dared make the dough from scratch! Going to have to add this to the list 🙂 Thanks for the inspiration. Now I want a plate of empanadas….dangerous.


Kate August 5, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Thanks Michelle! I’m with you on the love of empanadas and Dominican style is definitely my favorite! SO darn good.


Rachel @ I Love My Disorganized Life April 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Oh hello, my little empanada friend! YUM!!!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Copyright © Food Babbles
Site Development by Kinetic Webs