The flaky dough for this chicken empanada is so simple to make. Using rotisserie chicken from the grocery store cuts down on prep time and makes a flavorful filling.
For the dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons fine sea or table salt
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup (8 ounces) butter, cut into ½-in cubes; cold
¼ cup cold water
For the filling:
2 cups rotisserie chicken, chopped or shredded
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ onion, minced
¾ cup small-diced potato
¼ cup small-diced carrots
¼ cup peas, fresh or frozen
¼ cup raisins
1 teaspoon kosher salt (¾ teaspoon fine sea or table salt)
½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 tablespoon flour/cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1. Make the dough: In a food processor (or with a pastry cutter, a fork, or your hands), combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add butter in and mix until it resembles coarse sand. Add the egg and cold water. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix. Take a small piece and pinch to see if it holds together. If the dough is too crumbly, add a little water. Add a tablespoon at a time to avoid making the dough wet and tacky. Divide the dough in half, flatten into discs, and wrap them separately. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
2. Cook the filling: In a large skillet over medium heat, add a little oil and sauté garlic and onion until softened. Add potatoes, carrots, and about two tablespoons of water. Mix and cover to soften vegetables for about 3 minutes. Add peas, raisins, salt, and ground pepper. Sprinkle with flour/cornstarch and mix it all up. Add the chicken in and the rest of the ingredients – soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar, and about ¼ cup of water. Mix it all up. Cover to cook for about 2 minutes. Taste and adjust accordingly. Let it cool.
3. Roll out the dough: Prepare a clean work surface and lightly flour your hands. Use a rolling pin to roll each disc into about ⅛-1/4 inch thick. Cut into circles using a round cutter or the rim of a bowl. I used a 4.5-inch cutter and made 16 circles. Stack the circles onto a plate. Re-roll any scraps. Refrigerate while working with the second disc.
4. Assemble: Place about 2 tablespoons of filling onto each circle. Fold the dough in half to enclose the filling and remove any air pockets. Seal edges by crimping with a fork or create pleats using your fingers. Prepare to fry/bake or refrigerate until ready.
5. Fry: Fill a deep pot with oil enough to cover each empanada and heat to medium-high. Fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Fry in batches and don’t overcrowd the pot. Keep the temperature hot to avoid soggy, greasy empanadas. Dry on paper towels.
6. Bake: Preheat oven to 425° Fahrenheit. Place the empanadas about 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush tops with egg wash (one beaten egg with a tablespoon of water). Bake for about 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
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