Is there anything better than a warm, savory chicken filling inside a soft, flaky pocket of dough? Well, only if it is an Argentine Chicken Empanada!
The popular empanada is a Latin American dish with different flavor profiles unique to the region where they are produced. What is so different about a chicken empanada, Argentinian style? Read on for our favorite, mouth-watering baked empanada recipe.
What is an Empanada?
Empanadas are hand-sized savory pies that are found throughout South America. They have a soft pocket of flaky dough that is stuffed with a savory, often meat-based filling. Similar to a turnover, they are crescent-shaped, with dough that is made of either corn or flour and stuffed with a savory filling. They are usually served as a main course and can be either baked or fried.
Though the first empanadas are believed to originate in Medieval times, the Latin American version came over with Spanish colonists. You can find empanadas throughout most Latin American countries, including Argentina, where it is a popular dish throughout the country. Argentinians love empanadas, which in this country consist of a flour-based dough stuffed with meat fillings. Beef, ham, and chicken are favorites that often include eggs, olives, onions, or peppers mixed in for extra texture and flavor.
How are Argentine Empanadas Different?
Empanadas are a staple in Argentina and each region of the country has its own unique version and flavor profile. But the one thing that makes empanadas different in Argentina is that they are made with a flour dough. Some Latin cultures use corn flour to make their empanadas but for the most part, flour is used in most of the country. Many people consider them a lunch staple because they are easy to carry and eat.
Our Argentinian Empanada Recipe Featuring
The ingredients listed are for traditional Argentinian Style Baked Chicken Empanadas. For easier or quicker results, you can go with store bought pastries from a local latin market.
Empanada Pastry Ingredients
- 100 g or approximately 2/3 cup water
- 175 g or 2 cups unsalted butter, diced
- ½ tsp fine sea salt
- 350 g or 4 cups plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 medium egg
Chicken Empanada Filling and Assembly
- 60 g or 3/4 cup onions, halved
- 1 garlic clove
- 240 g or approximately one cup of cooked skinless chicken breast fillets cubed or shredded, substitute with ground beef if desired
- 1 red pepper (approx. 150 g), cut into pieces
- 8 pitted green olives
- 30 g or 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- ¼ – ½ tsp ground black pepper, to taste
- plain flour, for dusting
- In a bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, salt, and baking powder. Slowly add in melted butter. Add enough water to create a soft, smooth dough.
- Form the dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour. Dough can be made ahead and refrigerated overnight if desired.
- In a large pan, drizzle oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until golden and caramelized.
- Add garlic and continue cooking until fragrant.
- Stir in the chicken, red pepper, green olives, and tomato puree. Add seasonings, including salt and pepper. Then add a small amount of water to meat mixture and cook uncovered until most of the moisture has evaporated.
- Set aside to cool.
How to Assemble the Empanadas
Lightly flour a baking sheet or other surface and roll the pastry into a thin sheet. Use a circular cutter or small plate to cut circles from the dough. Traditionally, empanada dough is cut into six-inch circles similar in depth to a pie crust.
Place the chicken filling in the center of each circle, brush the edges lightly with an egg wash, and fold the dough over the filling. You will end up with a crescent, or half-moon shape. Press the edges together to seal. Be careful not to overfill or you may tear holes in the dough or it will be unable to seal.
Use the tines of a fork or create a rope-like appearance by pulling the edge of the dough slightly out and folding it over. Repeat until all are sealed. Brush with egg wash and bake for 20-25 minutes in a pre-heated 400-degree oven or until the pastry is golden brown.
Last but not least, get ready to enjoy your warm, delicious Argentinian style baked empanadas! Find all of the ingredients you need to complete this recipe at International Fresh Market in Naperville, IL.