Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Chicken, Corn and Feta Empanadas

What a great way to use the last of the frozen corn, and the feta left from our Greek salad last week. I also used the spicy flavoured is sea salt with smoked paprika and cayenne pepper added. It added the spiciness to the filling without overdoing it.

I found an empanada dough recipe at:

I was happy with the dough; it was easy to make, easy to roll out and baked up beautifully...crispy and golden. It is also strong enough to hold the filling without falling apart.

Empanadas are like little hand pies, and for that reason are great to take for lunch, or add to a picnic. Make extra and pop them into the freezer!

On a plate, combine:

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon spicy seasoned salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil


6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Make sure the chicken gets coated with the oil and spices on all sides.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan; add a small drizzle of olive oil if you feel it is needed to stop the chicken from sticking.

Add the chicken, browning one side and then turning it over to brown the other side.

Turn the heat to medium low, and add:

1 shallot, diced
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1/2 cup corn

Cover and leave until the chicken is fully cooked, and most of the liquid has reduced.

Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. While the chicken is cooking, make the pastry, and then leave it to chill in the fridge while the chicken cools.

In a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, measure:

3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 ounces cold butter, cubed

Mix on low speed until you have fine crumbs.


1 egg, beaten
1/4 - 1/2 cup milk

Mix on low just until a shaggy dough forms.

Gently knead the dough together, and press into a disc. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the filling, combine:

the cooked chicken, finely diced
the corn, shallots and garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Taste, and adjust seasoning if needed.

To assemble the empanadas, roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/8".

Cut into 6" diameter circles. I had 10 circles.

Divide the filling between the dough circles.

Lightly brush one half of the outside edge with egg wash.

Fold the circle of dough in half, pressing the two halves together in the centre, and then work your way towards the outside. Gently press to remove any excess air as you seal the pastry.

Crimp, roll, or twist the edge for both a decorative finish, and to make sure it is well sealed.

Place the empanadas on a parchment lined baking sheet, and brush lightly with the egg wash. Make two small slits in the top of each one for air to escape during baking.

Bake the empanadas at 375F for 25 - 30 minutes, or until the dough is crisp and golden.

I served the empanadas on a bed of broccolini and green beans that were blanched, then sauteed in garlic and olive oil.

  • The tanginess of the feta cheese balanced the spices in the chicken. Feel free to use any cheese you have available...cheddar, pepper Jack, goat cheese, mozzarella.
  • Add diced red peppers, beans, cooked diced squash or sweet potatoes.
  • Ground chicken, turkey or beef can be used instead of the thighs. Brown the meat and then add in the spices.
  • When making the pastry, start by adding 1/4 cup of milk, and then add the last quarter cup as needed...just enough to moisten the crumbs and form a dough.
  • Consider rolling out the dough, cutting the circles and freezing them for another time. Separate each dough circle with a piece of parchment paper, and make sure they are well wrapped.
  • The empanadas can also be frozen once assembled. Bake from frozen, adding extra time.

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