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Chicken Picadillo Empanadas

Recipe by Executive Chef Fredy Hernandez

Makes: 30-35 empanadas
Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours


Empanada Dough

3 cups all-purpose flour
cup Vegetable oil
cup hot water plus 1 Tablespoon
1 Teaspoon salt
Extra flour for rolling
2 Teaspoons chopped garlic cloves


2 Tablespoons olive oil
cup small dice white onion
cup small dice red pepper
cup small dice green pepper
1 lb. ground chicken
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
Teaspoon hot chili powder
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/3 cup chicken broth, more if needed
Salt and pepper to taste


1. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, add 2 cups all-purpose flour, oil, hot water and salt. Mix on low speed for two minutes. Add the rest of the flour and mix one extra minute or until dough comes together. Wrap in plastic and set aside.

2. In a large sauté pan, add oil, onion, and peppers and place over medium heat. Sauté 3-5 minutes and stir continuously or until vegetables are slightly brown. Remove and set aside.

3. In the same pan, add the chicken and break into small pieces with a wooden spoon. Stir continuously for 3-5 minutes until slightly brown. Add garlic, onion, pepper mixture, cumin, chili, tomato, chicken broth, salt & pepper, and mix well. Let it cook for 2-4 minutes or until juice is absorbed. Allow to cool before making empanadas.

4. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured work surface. Roll out dough to a thickness of about 1/8 inch. Using a 3-inch round pastry cutter, cut out about 30-35 circles. Place about 1 tablespoon of mixture on the center of each circle. Fold over the circle to form a half moon. Seal the edges with a fork.

5. To cook empanadas: In a deep fryer or fry pan, add about 1½ inches of oil and heat to 340 degrees. Add 4-5 empanadas at a time for 2 minutes or until golden in color. Serve immediately or at room temperature.