The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Chicken Apple Cheddar Empanadas

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Level: Intermediate

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Description

The great thing about frozen puff pastry is that you look fancy, but you really didn’t do anything that was tricky. Plus, kids DIE for puff pastry. For some reason it’s like a treat even when filled with three food groups.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • ¼ cups Minced Red Onion
  • 1 whole Diced Red Apple
  • 2 whole Diced Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 whole Cooked Chicken Breasts
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1-½ cup Shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 package Frozen Puff Pastry (2 Sheets)
  • 1 whole Egg

Preparation

Heat a saute pan with the butter. Saute chopped apples and onions in butter until onions are cooked and apples are just soft. Dice the (cooked) chicken breast. Toss diced chicken, apples, onions and shredded cheddar in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste and a squeeze of lemon juice. Set aside on the counter to cool.

Place first puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and roll out to about twice the size that it started out. Puff pastry is not like pie or pizza dough – you can’t lump it together and re-roll, or patch, so roll carefully.

Use a glass to cut out circles. Use your geometry skills and maximize the surface area (remember – you can’t collect the scraps at the end and re-roll – the pastry won’t “puff” the same). Try to get 12 circles, each 2.5 inches in diameter. You can give the kids the scraps to make weirdly shaped pastries or haphazardly filled versions. Mine always insist on making a “just cheese” version. Repeat with second sheet of puff pastry.

Traditionally empanadas are half moon shaped (you fill one side and fold over) but this filling is a little chunkier, and you need a certain ratio of the ingredients in each empanada to get the correct flavor, so I’m using one circle on top and one on bottom.

Place a heap of filling of the chicken/apple mixture in the center of each circle (leaving ¼ inch pastry around the edge showing). Use your finger or a pastry brush to wet the edge with warm water and top with second circle. Crimp edge with a fork.

Place empanadas on a parchment covered baking sheet. I use parchment for everything, for guaranteed non-sticking and easy clean up. I especially like how puff pastry bakes on it. If you’re not using parchment, place on ungreased cookie sheet. They’re going to puff up twice their size, so leave 3 inches between each on the pan.

Whisk the egg with a tablespoon of water (this is an “egg wash”, which makes puff pastry golden and shiny) and brush the tops of each empanada.

Bake for 15 minutes at 375F, or until golden (in Colorado it takes twice as long). Let cool ten minutes, then serve with sour cream and Dijon (or any mustard or dipping sauce you like).

These make good appetizers/ finger party food, but you can serve with a salad as a main dish as well.

Makes 12.

One Comment

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horselady on 3.1.2011

I am excited to try this recipe! Found it when looking for ways to use the mountain of apples we got in a fruit basket. Making it tonight :)

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