Pulled Chicken Empanadas

So last week while I was at my grandma’s, we went shoe shopping for the wedding.  While I do so despise shopping in all its manifestations (except for maybe cookware…that I just barely tolerate) I was happy to get shoes and get it over with.

But the problem now is that I have two possibilities. I can go with the silver shoes, which go well with my white dress, or I can go with the sassy red shoes.

Red is the color traditionally worn by Chinese brides, as it is an auspicious color that represents fortune.  White represents death, though modern Chinese brides have adopted the Western tradition of wearing white.  I want to wear something red to honor the Eastern tradition, but haven’t decided what yet.  It could be the shoes.  But the silver ones are nice too!  I have to decide by mid-March, as I have to wear the right shoes to my dress fitting.  Oh boy…I’m gonna have to think about this.

What you don’t have to think about is whether or not to make these empanadas.  When yours truly has massive amounts of leftover pulled meat on her hands, this is the go-to meal.  There are a few steps involved, but it’s well worth the effort.

The crust is so flaky and delicious.  Seriously.  I’ll probably end up making the crust again just so I can eat it by itself.

Did I mention this recipe includes an awesome DIY barbecue sauce?  Which also happens to be amazing.  I considered drinking it for a moment, but then thought, what would I slather my empanadas with, so I carefully conserved every drop.

These make a great meal, or appetizer if you make them a little smaller.  My dough cutting skills weren’t so great since I free handed it with my chefs knife, but a big biscuit cutter would work well here.

However, whenever you make these, you will be very pleased.  Plus then you can send pictures of your awesome empanadas to all your friends and rub it in their faces.

Pulled Chicken Empanadas with Peach Chipotle Barbecue Sauce

Adapted from Confessions of a Foodie Bride

Makes about 16 empanadas

For the empanadas:

1 stick of butter, chilled

1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (or use all all-purpose)

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 egg

1/3 cup ice water

1 tbsp white vinegar

~2 1/2 cups leftover pulled pork/chicken/beef

1 egg + 1 tbsp water for egg wash


For the sauce:

2 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup peppers and sauce from canned chipotles in adobo, minced

2/3 cup ketchup

1/4-1/2 cup water

1 tbsp cider vinegar

1 tbsp molasses

1/2 cup peach puree (I pureed canned peaches in a food processor)

black pepper

pinch of salt

To make the empanada dough, cut the butter into the flours, salt, pepper, and paprika in a large bowl with pastry cutter or fingers until the butter chunks are pea-sized.  Whisk together the egg, water, and vinegar in a small bowl and add to the flour mixture, mixing with a fork until just incorporated. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times before patting into a circle.  Wrap the dough in plastic and chill for an hour.

To make the sauce, heat oil over medium heat in a medium saucepan.  Sauté onions until soft and translucent. Add garlic, stir, and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the minced chipotles and sauce to the pan.  Stir in the ketchup, vinegar, water, mustard, molasses, and peach preserves.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper to taste.  Transfer to a jar or airtight bowl and store in the fridge (will keep for ~2 weeks).

Preheat over to 400 degrees F.  To form the empanadas, cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll to ~1/8 inch thick.  Cut ~4-inch round circles from the dough, rolling and cutting scraps (you should get 4 rounds from each quarter).  Whisk egg and water together and brush the edges of each dough round.

Toss 1/4-1/3 cup sauce with pulled meat (just enough moisten).  I also added scallions.  Place a large spoonful of pork in the center of the round, folding the top half to the bottom, and lightly pressing to seal.  Use a floured fork to press the tines around the edges.  Repeat for all remaining dough rounds.  Brush the empanadas with the remaining egg wash.

Grease or line two baking sheets.  Bake 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve warm or at room temp with additional sauce for dipping.




2 Comments on “Pulled Chicken Empanadas”

  1. Ariel says:

    Anna, the silver shoes is perfect. I love it! The red one is pretty too, but you could wear that at the after party. You could wear something red in your hear to represent the culture.

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