Chicken And Olive Empanadas

Serves: 100
Total Calories: 34


3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup ice water
1 large egg yolk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 pound ground chicken or ground turkey (not ground turkey breast)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup dry sherry
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced pimiento-stuffed green olives
3 tablespoons nonpareil capers, rinsed (if using larger capers, chop them)
3 tablespoons currants or chopped raisins

1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 teaspoon water
vegetable shortening or vegetable oil for deep-frying


1. TO MAKE THE DOUGH: In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add the butter. Using a pastry cutter, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-sized pieces. In a glass measuring cup, whisk the ice water and egg yolk together. Tossing the flour mixture with a fork, gradually add the liquid just until the dough is completely moistened and holds together without crumbling when pressed between your fingers. Form the dough into a thick disk. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for 30 minutes. (The dough can be prepared up to 1 day ahead. If the dough is very cold and hard, let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling out.)

2. TO MAKE THE FILLING: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken or turkey and cook, stirring often and breaking up the meat with the side of a spoon, until it loses its pink color and is cooked through, about 6 minutes. In a small bowl, dissolve the tomato paste in the sherry. Stir into the skillet with the oregano, paprika, salt, and pepper. Cook until the mixture looks somewhat dry, about 1 minute. Transfer to a medium bowl and stir in the olives, capers, and currants or raisins. Let cool completely.

3. Line 2 large baking sheets with waxed paper. Divide the dough into thirds. Keeping the remaining dough refrigerated, roll 1 piece at a time out on a lightly floured surface until 1 1/16 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut out rounds of the dough. Place 1 scant teaspoon of the cooled filling on the bottom half of each round. Brush the edges lightly with the yolk mixture, fold over to enclose the filling, and seal the edges by pressing with the tines of a fork. Place the empanadas on the prepared baking sheets and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough (gathering up the dough scraps and re-rolling as needed) and filling. Refrigerate the empanadas until ready to fry. (The empanadas can be prepared to this point up to 2 weeks ahead, covered tightly with plastic wrap and overwrapped with aluminum foil, and frozen. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before deep-frying.)

4. Preheat the oven to 170°F. Line 2 baking sheets with paper towels. In a deep Dutch oven, melt vegetable shortening over high heat to a depth of 2 to 3 inches and heat it to 365°F. In batches, without crowding, deep-fry the empanadas until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a wire-mesh skimmer, transfer to the paper towels to drain and keep warm in the oven for up to 1 hour. (Or, let the empanadas cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. To reheat, bake in a preheated 350°F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.) Serve the empanadas warm.

NOTE: The fried empanadas can be made up to 2 weeks ahead and frozen. Place in a single layer on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and overwrap with aluminum foil. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. To reheat, bake in a preheated 350°F oven until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Nutritional Facts:

Serves: 100
Total Calories: 34
Calories from Fat: 14

This Chicken And Olive Empanadas recipe is from the Fried & True: Crispy and Delicious Dishes from Appetizers to Desserts Cookbook. Download this Cookbook today.

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