Monday, November 1, 2010

Chicken Empanadas, revisited

I first made these quite some time back but the picture was dull, lifeless and let's be honest: unappetizing. I absolutely turn to these empanadas whenever I have the craving for Mexican but don’t have a lot of time (or energy) for a complete meal. These would be perfect for an appetizer as well since they qualify as “finger food” and are small. Whatever the occasion, these little bites are sure to please anyone!
Chicken Empanadas
Adapted from: Paula Deen
Serves: 4-6

2 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
3 pie crusts, unbaked

I cooked the chicken ahead of time by boiling 2 parts water, 1 part 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 15-17 minutes and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before serving. They will be hot!

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