Chorizo and Olive Chicken Empanadas

On Monday night some friends of mine came over to make empanadas and watch How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory. Both excellent shows by the way, check them out.

My friend Jamie and I decided to make Smitten Kitchen’s Chicken Empanadas with Chorizo and Olives. Light on the olives thank you very much.

The recipe turned out enough for the four of us to have at least two each, which left 8 leftover. Meaning we each got another lunch out of the deal. A good thing for poor early-20s people like us.

Ours weren’t too pretty, that roped edge that Deb has going on is just little too advanced for me. Or dough just hates me doughn’t you know?

Look at them, all the empanadas lined up in a row. Off to our stomachs they go:

Here is the recipe as adapted from the January 2005 issue of Gourmet by Smitten Kitchen, with our tweaks:

[print_this]Chicken Empanada with Chorizo and Olives

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 16 empanadas, with some leftover filling (good for taco filling!)

Dough:*
4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup whole wheat flour
3 teaspoons salt
2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs
2/3 cup cold water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

Filling:
3 whole chicken legs, including thighs (2 to 2 1/4 lb total)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 large onions, halved lengthwise, then cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
1/3 cup finely diced Spanish chorizo (cured spiced pork sausage; 1 1/2 oz; casings discarded if desired)
1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (not hot)
1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Egg Wash:
1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water

Make Dough: Sift flour with salt into a large bowl and blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal with some (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Beat together egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl with a fork. Add to flour mixture, stirring with fork until just incorporated. Turn out mixture onto a lightly floured surface and gather together, then knead gently with heel of your hand once or twice, just enough to bring dough together. You can also do this in a large bowl. Form dough into two flat rectangles and chill them, each wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour. Dough can be chilled up to 6 hours total.

Make Filling: Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, turning over once, about 6 minutes total, and transfer to a plate. Sauté onions, garlic, and bay leaves in fat remaining in skillet, stirring frequently, until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add chorizo and paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add olives, wine, and broth and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits. Return chicken to skillet along with any juices accumulated on plate, then reduce heat to moderately low and simmer chicken, covered, turning over once, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes total.

Transfer chicken to a clean plate. (Sauce in skillet should be the consistency of heavy cream; if it’s not, briskly simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.) When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and coarsely chop meat. Stir chicken into sauce and discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, then cool filling, uncovered, about 30 minutes.

Form Empanadas: Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 400°F. Divide first dough and half of second dough into 18 equal pieces and form each into a disk. (The remaining dough can be stored in the freezer for future use.) Keeping remaining pieces covered, roll out 1 piece on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 5-inch round (about 1/8 inch thick).

Spoon about 2 tablespoons filling onto center and fold dough in half, enclosing filling. Press edges together to seal, then crimp decoratively with your fingers or tines of a fork. Transfer empanada to a baking sheet. Make 15 more empanadas in same manner, arranging on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets.

Lightly brush empanadas with some of egg wash turning sheets around halfway through baking, until golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer empanadas to a rack to cool at least 5 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.[/print_this]

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