It’s taken me a while to post another recipe. I’d like to say I was to busy, but the truth is I’ve been too lazy. A couple of weeks ago I was wondering what I would serve for the Super Bowl Game. I decided to surprise Mark with something I had never made him. Chicken Empanadas won and he loved them. Just another recipe from my California past life.
- 5 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on (you really do want all that wonderful flavor the bone and skin bring)
- All meat seasoning (or if you prefer just use salt and pepper)
- 2 TB vegetable oil
- 1 heaping TB of salted butter
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 2 Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, diced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp Mexican oregano, ground (please don’t substitute for Italian, it’s just not the same)
- 2 cups Green Tomato Enchilada Sauce (you can find my recipe for this on this blog)
- a couple handfuls of shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 box of Pillsbury Pie Crust (by all means make your own, I was just being lazy again)
- 1 egg, whisked with a splash of water
- a bit of flour
Season all sides of your chicken thighs with the all meat seasoning. Make sure the seasoning is thoroughly rubbed into the skins. Using a heavy bottom pot, I use my dutch oven, melt the butter into the oil over medium heat. Brown the thighs to a golden color on both sides and set aside. You may need to work in batches as not to overcrowd the pot. Once all the chicken is browned and removed from the pot add in the celery, carrot and onion and stir until just becoming fragrant. Stir in the chicken broth, Chipotle peppers, cumin and oregano. Return the chicken thighs to the pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours. Stir about half way through this cooking process.
At the end of the 2 hours remove from heat and cool for about 20 minutes uncovered. Now shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Place the shredded chicken in a large bowl. Combine the Green Enchilada Sauce with the shredded chicken and set aside.
Preheat your oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Working on a slightly floured surface and using a rolling-pin, roll the pie crust out just to flatten it a bit and make it a tiny bit thinner. Cut out a 6″-inch circle. I use a small bowl for this and usually can get 2 cut outs at one time. The 2 prepared pie crust in the box will yield you 7 Empanadas. Place the 6″-inch circles of crust on the baking sheet. Brush each crust with the egg wash. Place a heaping tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the center of one side of the crust. Top with a sprinkle of shredded cheese and fold the crust over the mixture until the sides meet. Using a fork, press the sides together to form a seal in the dough. Brush the tops of the Empanadas with the egg wash and bake for 20 minutes.
Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve with sides of sour cream, guacamole or salsa.
Tip: You will have enough chicken to make 14 Empanadas, but you can also put any leftover shredded chicken in a zip lock freezer bag and freeze for future use in tacos, enchiladas, tamales or nachos.