Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Meat Pies

Chicken Empanadas

I think most countries have their version of a meat pie.  Supposedly starting out in Greece, the meat pie has popped up all over the world. Italians stuff meats and cheeses into stromboli and calzones.  The British have their steak pies.  The French Canadians have a meat pie called a tourtiere.  They make meat pies in Egypt, Australia, Jamaica, and New Zealand.  They all have their own fillings and tastes, but it's a great concept.

And, of course, you know me, a Texas girl, I had to do a Tex-Mex version of this said meat pie.  When my husband ate these, he said it tasted like I stuffed a chicken enchilada inside the dough.  Oh, and the dough, I'm sure there's much debate on whether it's a bread-like dough or a pastry dough.  Mine is more bread like, slightly crispy from frying but tender and soft like bread.  I think they turned out darn tasty.  There is also a spicy, smokey Chipotle Cheese Sauce to go over the top.  And I served them with one of my childhood favorites, Homemade Black Beans (under the sides tab).  

Get out the Fry Daddy! 

 

CHICKEN EMPANADAS
FOR THE FILLING:
3 C cooked, shredded chicken
1 onion, chopped
One 4-ounce can green chilies
1/2 C chicken stock
One 8-ounce package of cream cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T cumin
1 T chili powder
Salt & pepper to taste
Olive oil

FOR THE DOUGH:
3 C flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 C milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 C shortening

CHIPOTLE CHEESE SAUCE:
1/4 C flour
1/4 C butter
2 C milk
1 chipotle in adobo, chopped
1 C cheddar cheese

1 C shredded pepper Jack cheese
Peanut oil for frying

Mix the dough ingredients together in a stand mixer.  Cover and let sit out for about an hour (don't refrigerate).

Meanwhile, to prepare the chicken filling, drizzle some olive oil in a large skillet and preheat to medium high heat.  Cook the onion until tender. Add in the green chilies, chicken, garlic, cumin, and chili powder and season with salt and pepper.  Stir for about a minute to coat.  Add in the chicken stock and cream cheese.  Reduce heat to medium and stir until the cream cheese is melted.

To assemble the empanadas, roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch thickness.  Divide into 8 equal squares.  Sprinkle some of the pepper Jack cheese in the center of the dough.  Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture onto the cheese.  Fold the dough over the filling.  Roll up or crimp the edges of the dough, trying to shape the empanadas into a half moon shape.  (It's okay if it doesn't work.  Mine were almost rectangles.)  

To cook the empanadas, preheat some peanut oil over medium high heat to 350 degrees.  Fry the empanadas two to three at a time until crispy and browned all over.  Keep them warm in a 200 degree oven until they are all cooked.

For the chipotle cheese sauce, melt the butter in a pot over medium high heat.  Whisk in the flour to combine.  Whisk in the milk and cook until bubbly and thickened.  Remove from heat and stir in the chipotle and cheese until the cheese is melted.  Serve with the empanadas.

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