I had no idea what an empanada was until I found this recipe. It looked good and the ingredients were all things I enjoy so why not give it a try!? Well, I am so glad I did. This is really something different that I have never eaten before but the taste combination was so flavorful! I actually made some salsa for dipping but we didn't even use it because these were so tasty and filling. I could only really eat three and my husband stopped at five. We absolutely loved them and they will go on our must-make-again list. These would be perfect for a game night or small get-together with friends or family, too.
2-3 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed small
8 oz Monterey Jack Cheese blend
4-6 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1 package refrigerated pie crusts (2 crusts, 15 oz)
I cooked the chicken ahead of time by boiling 2 parts water, 1 part beef broth (because I forgot the chicken broth). Normally I would use chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a plate to cool.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease two baking sheets. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except water and pie crust. Mix well. Unroll one pie crust onto lightly floured surface and roll into a 15-inch circle (a bit thinner than what the package comes in). Cut rounds using a large cookie cutter (or I used the rim of a can from a 28-ounce jar of diced tomatoes). I am all about reycling! ;) As the rounds are cut, place a generous 1 tbsp of the mixture in the middle. With a clean fingertip, lightly brush the edges of the crust with the water. Fold dough over and seal gently with a fork.
Repeat and re-roll all dough until all empanadas are made and placed on baking sheets. Bake for 13-15 minutes and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before serving. They will be hot!