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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chicken Empanadas - Tapas Party

My friend is recently engaged and could not be more happy for the two of them. As they are both wordly people it is fitting that they held a taps and tapas engagement party.
The rules: each couple was to bring a taps and tapas from a country of their choice. There should be enough drink to serve 1/2 serving to each person and at least one tapas per person. In the end their was plenty of food and drink for seconds and thirds.

Immediately I had so many countries going through my head from Italian antipasti, Greek mezzes to Asian nibbles. However, in the end I went with a very traditional and savoury Spanish tapas - chicken empanadas served with Spanish wine. The other countries representing were Mexico with vegetarian quesadillas & corona, Poland with Perogies & a vodka martini, China with pork and shrimp dumplings & lychee martini, France with brie, bread & wine, Greece with fig and goat cheese puffed pastry & a ceasar.

The dough for this recipe is very unique and one which I obtained from my mother. It makes the pastry melt in your mouth once cooked. It is also easy to work with provided you have a well floured surface, as the cheese makes it a sticky dough. As for the filling I found a wonderful recipe over at Gourmet Girl's website.
The empanadas turned out really well with a golden flaky pastry and an wonderful array of flavors in the filling. I actually made a second batch for the freezer, a nice appetizer to keep on hand for last minute guests.


1 cup butter, at room temp
8 oz light cream cheese at room temp
1 cup flour

Mix all the ingredients together and form a ball. Refridgerate over night. When ready to use flour a surface (well floured as this dough can be sticky) and roll out a bit of the dough at a time to about 1/2 cm thickness. Use a cup about 5" in diameter to make circles. Continue doing this until all the dough is used up. Feel free to make them the size you wish.

Chicken Empanadas

8 oz. chicken breast, diced into 1" cubes
2 T olive oil
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tsp (2 cloves) minced garlic
1 T tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
2 T chopped cilantro
2 T chopped flat leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped pimento stuffed olives
3 T raisins
1/2 cup white wine
salt and freshly ground black peppe

1. In a large skillet over medium heat combine olive oil, chicken, onion and bell pepper. Saute a few minutes until onions start to become soft. Add cumin, salt, pepper, and tomato paste and stir. Add garlic, cilantro, raisins, and olives and sautee for 3 minutes.

2. Add wine and scrape around edges of pan to de-glaze - this adds so much good flavor. Continue to cook stirring occasionally until all of the wine is absorbed. Set aside to cool.

3. . When filling has cooled, place about 2 tablespoons of it on one side of the pastry circle. Brush edges of dough with water. Fold in half and crimp with a fork.

4. Can store in fridge or freezer until ready to bake. Place empanadas on non-stick baking sheet (spray with non stick spray). Brush egg wash over each empanada so they do not dry out and so they get that nice golden look.

5. Bake for 20 minutes in a preheated oven at 375F.

Makes about 24 empanadas.

Picture Directions

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VeggieGirl said...

What a fun tapas party!! Love the step-by-step photos on how to make the empanadas.

Bellini Valli said...

What a fun couple. Iam, sure that all the guests enjoyed this hint of Mexico::D

RecipeGirl said...

Nice job! I haven't made these yet. We have a couple of places around here where you can buy the empanada dough and just focus on the filling- it's actually pretty good.

You had a question about how to do the three column thing? I did it myself, but I couldn't tell you how. Just researched the heck out of it on google searches and messed a lot with the html until I got it to work. It wasn't easy! Good luck!!

Peter M said...

Parker, all this work can't go unnoticed and the result looks like a delicious success.

Lo said...

These look so good! I love a nice, crispy empanada... though I've never made them with chicken before.

What a great party concept.

giz said...

I seem to be on this filled dumpling type kick these days. I love this recipe and love the fun aspect of it. Well done.

The Culinary Chase said...

These look delicious! All mt favorite ingredients all neatly wrapped up! Cheers!

Darius T. Williams said...

Looking good...I should host a tapas party...I love tapas. I really do - and this combo is looking great!


Psychgrad said...

What a cool concept! I may have to steal it at some point. :)

Your empanadas look delicious! Starred.

Adam said...

That sounds like a great idea for a party! I love the blend of different cultures and cuisines :)

Your empanadas look beautiful. You have a real knack for pinching... they have a great shape. Nice job :)

Happy cook said...

I should remember to do this kind od party. Tell averyone to bring something.
These Empanadas look yummy.

Jude said...

You make it look so easy. I've never tried making empanadas before since it's so intimidating.

Helene said...

Cream cheese in the dough, yum! You did very well.

Kevin said...

Those empanadas look good and the filling sounds really tasty!

eatme_delicious said...

What gorgeous empanadas! I don't know if I've ever actually had one since they're usually filled with meat... I need to try a veggie version!

Kait said...

I love the idea of a potluck-style (but still elegant) engagement party! That's such a great concept, for any party, really. I've been meaning to make empanadas; this dough sounds yummy.

Apples and Butter said...

Homemade Empanadas? Those look fabulous! I have never made them at home myself, but you make them look totally doable. Thanks!

Sophie said...

These definitely beat anything pre-frozen :). They look incredibly delicious, definitely a great portable lunch!

Lynnylu said...

I love empanadas and usually make mine with ground beef, but your chicken empanadas look so good. Will definitely try your recipe.

Lynnylu said...

BTW-Your banner photo is very pretty-did you photograph it?

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