When I was still living in Manila, I always had this craving for chicken empanadas and my mom would buy a boxful of this yummy pastries at Red ribbon bakeshop where we usually buy cakes for special occasions. Always hot from the oven, the aroma of the empanada would put me in a trance and I always had this smile on my face after eating one (or two!) My first take on empanadas happened when I had chicken leftovers from the BBQ chicken pizza that I made the night before, and decided to stuff them in a Pillsbury pie crust. The result was surprisingly good!
When I make empanadas, I sometimes use the Pillsbury pie crust which tasted great with this recipe but you can also make your own pastry from scratch. The amount of the ingredients is totally up to your liking; personally I love to put more BBQ sauce in the filling.
- 2 cups of shredded chicken (leftovers are perfect)
- ½ cup (or more) of your favorite BBQ sauce
- ¼ cup red onion, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 5 tbsp chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6 tbsp ice water
- chilled bowl
- Combine the chicken, onion, BBQ sauce and some of the cheese. You may choose to cook the red onions if you prefer. Add salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
- For the pastry: Combine flour and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times. Add chilled butter; pulse 4 times or until mixture is crumbly. Transfer in a chilled bowl; make a well in the middle and incorporate ⅔ of the cold water. Use your hand as a whisk and twist, mopping up all the flour and butter together. Gradually add the remaining water until dough forms.
- Lightly flour the surface and gently knead the dough. Wrap and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes before using.
- Dust the surface and the dough with flour and knead until the dough holds together. Roll the dough out into ⅓ – ½ inch thickness and cut into circles using 2 or 3 inch cookie cutter. (I used a 5 inch small plate for this)
- Roll out the dough again and cut into circles until you ran out. Mine yielded 5 circles of 5-inch of dough.
- To assemble: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out a cut circle and place 1 or two tbsp of the BBQ chicken filling slightly off center. Top with shredded cheese and fold over dough. Press to seal and crimp well with a fork. (Some people brush the outer edge of one side of the dough with egg wash before sealing it)
- Place on a baking tray. Brush a small amount of the BBQ sauce on top and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Repeat the process until all you have filled all the pastry discs.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crust is brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 5 minutes before serving.