Saturday, September 29, 2012

Daring Bakers September 2012: Empanadas

Patri of the blog, Asi Son Los Cosas, was our September 2012 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she decided to tempt us with one of her family’s favorite recipes for Empanadas! We were given two dough recipes to choose from and encouraged to fill our Empanadas as creatively as we wished!

I know, I know. I'm two days late in posting. Blame my job or my procrastination, either way I'm late. One of my goals now that school has been happening for a full month is to do a better job blogging. Right now that means two specific things: posting on time for challenges and taking the time to take better photos. Hold me to those things, people! Please!

This was a delicious recipe that was perfect for the cooler weather we've been having lately. Something about meat and veggies baked in dough just screams autumn comfort food. We had the inaugural fire in the fireplace in our house and enjoyed the feeling of bellies full of yummy empanada as we relaxed last weekend.

I'd made dessert empanadas before (okay, I mostly cheated with canned apple pie filling and probably store-bought dough) and was looking forward to trying the savory kind. I could have made this a little easier on myself by buying a rotisserie chicken instead of roasting my own, but with whole chickens under a dollar a pound I couldn't really justify not doing the whole recipe from scratch.

Chicken and Bell Pepper Empanadas

Dough Ingredients:
5-1/3 cups (1280 ml) (750 gm) bread flour

2 cups (480 ml) of lukewarm water (about 85°F/30oC)
1 satchel (1 tablespoon) (15 gm) dry yeast or (1 oz) (30 gm) fresh yeast

2 teaspoons (10 ml) (11 gm) salt

4 tablespoons (60 ml) oil (you can use oil from the pan where you have cooked the filling)
1 large egg, for egg wash

For the filling:
1 3-pound chicken
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium Spanish onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 ripe plum tomatoes
1 fresh thyme sprig
2 bay leaves
½ cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons sweet pimentón (Spanish smoked paprika)

Dough Directions:
1. Measure out all the ingredients. Sift the flour into a big bowl and make a well in the middle. Rub the yeast in with your fingers.

2. In a small bowl, mix the water and the salt.  Using your fingers or a wooden spoon, start adding the water and mixing it with the 
flour-yeast mixture. Keep on working with your fingers or spoon until you have added 
enough water and all the flour has been incorporated and you have a messy ball of dough.

3. On a clean counter top, knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes
(You could do all the above using a stand mixer, in that case mix the ingredients with the 
paddle attachment until mixed and then switch to a dough hook and knead on low for about 6 

4.Clean and oil the big bowl you used for mixing and place the kneaded dough in it. Cover it 
with a napkin or piece of linen and keep it in a warm, draught-free place for approximately 40 to 50 minutes.

5. Once risen, turn the dough back into a floured counter and cut it in half. Cover one half with the napkin to prevent drying.

6. Spread the other half of the dough using a rolling pin. You can use a piece of wax paper over the counter, it will make it easier to move the dough around. Depending on the shape of your oven pan or cookie sheet, you will make a rectangle or a round.

7. Now, the thinness of the dough will depend on your choice of filling and how much bread you like in every bite. For your first time, make it about 3mm thin (about 1/10th of an inch) and then adjust from that in the next ones you make.

Filling Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375℉

2. Season the chicken, inside and out, with salt and pepper and place on a rack set on top of a baking sheet. Roast the chicken for 45 minutes and let cool. Remove all of the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Shred the meat and set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the peppers, onions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions and peppers are tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes in half. Place a grater over a mixing bowl. Rub the cut surface of the tomatoes over the grater until all of the flesh is grated. Set the pulp aside and discard the skins.

5. Add the thyme and bay leaves to the onions and peppers and continue to cook until the mixture turns brown, about 5 minutes more. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates.

6. Stir in the tomato pulp and pimentón, reduce the heat to medium and cook slowly until the oil separates from the mixture and the tomato becomes dark brown in color, about 20 minutes more.

7. Add the shredded chicken and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, season to taste with salt. Transfer the mixture to a strainer set over a mixing bowl to drain and let cool. Discard liquid.

To Assemble:
1. Turn a 13x18 inch baking sheet over on a work surface and brush the back of the pan with olive oil. Transfer one rectangle of dough to the baking sheet.

2. Spoon the filling into the center of the dough and spread to about 1 inch from the edge. Beat the egg in a small bowl with a little water and brush the egg wash along the edge of the dough.

3. Place the second rectangle of the dough on top of the filling. Fold the dough over, crimping the edges to seal. Brush the top of the dough with the remaining egg wash and prick the dough with a fork to allow the steam to escape.

4. Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow the empanada to come to room temperature before slicing.

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious!!! Your filling sounds awesome, too! :)