I am absolutely thrilled to be over on Dula Notes today sharing my recipe for an easy, delectable weeknight dinner. I have been a huge fan of Nicole’s site, mainly for her mouth-watering recipes but also the gorgeous photography and excellent writing. I especially love all the seasonal produce she uses and writes about. What is available in Michigan is pretty darn close to what we can get here in North Dakota, so I’m always excited to get a peek in her CSA box.
I’ve been dreaming about empanadas for weeks now, ever since we came back from Miami where I had a steady intake of them. I knew I would never be able to replicate the ones I had there, but thought I could make my own, slightly easier version that would at least satisfy my cravings.
The crust is little more than store-bought puff pastry, which if you get the all-butter kind, bakes up nice and flaky. As for the chicken I used boneless, skinless thighs to maximize the flavor. I gently poached them then cooked the poached, shredded chicken with a one-two punch of chipotle chiles and saffron. I tried to keep the mojo sauce as true as possible, I mean there really is no substitute for it’s citrus and garlic flavors.
These empanadas with a little salad make a scrumptious dinner and if there are leftovers you can reheat one or two in the oven the next day for lunch. You can find the recipe for the empanadas over on Dula Notes.
And here are a few more weeknight dinner ideas:
- Green Chile Cheeseburgers with Cayenne-Lime Mayo
- Easy Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas
- Baked Penne with Zucchini and Kalamata Olives
- Simple Roasted Lime Chicken Thighs
What To Serve With Chicken Empanadas
Easy Chicken Empanadas With Garlic Mojo Sauce
makes 10 empanadas
- 20 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chipotles en adobo, chopped
- ½ teaspoon saffron threads
- all purpose flour, for dusting
- 17.3 ounce package all-butter puff pastry
- 1 large egg
FOR GARLIC MOJO SAUCE
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- ½ cup fresh squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)
- ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 4 lemons)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- If puff pastry is frozen remove from the box, and unroll onto the counter. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let thaw while you prepare the chicken. Place chicken, half the onion slices, bay leaf, salt, and peppercorns in a large, deep frying pan. Cover with 3 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken from poaching liquid to cool. Strain liquid into a heatproof container and set aside. Discard solids.
- While chicken is cooling make the Mojo sauce; heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Add garlic, and cook gently until just starting to brown. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Simmer 2-3 minutes, cover and keep warm.
- Once chicken is cool enough to handle, shred into bite-sized pieces.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add remaining onion slices and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and starting to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add chicken, chipotles, saffron, and ½ cup of the poaching liquid. Bring to a simmer and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and ingredients have combined, about 2 minutes.
- Heat oven to 400°F and arrange rack in the middle. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out puff pastry sheets to about ¼-inch thickness. Using a 6-inch plate, cut out as many circles as possible in one sheet. Repeat with other sheet of puff pastry. Gather any scraps and re-roll until you have 10 (6-inch) circles, lightly dusting with flour as needed.
- Place about ¼ cup of filling in the middle of each circle and fold dough over to cover. Seal with tines of a fork and place the empanadas on the baking sheets.
- Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water and brush the tops and sides of empanadas with the egg wash. Bake empanadas until golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Remove and serve immediately with Mojo sauce.
One More Thing
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