Gourmet | October 2004 & January 2005
Baking Empañada is like... baking lasagna for me... scary idea but I have to try...
While searching for a recipe, I found out that what we have back home is not the authentic Empañada, like everything else, it was modified through the years to suit our palate. It make sense, we have to adapt so it's not going to be so tedious for housewives to create. Moreso, we're not as globalized as we are today, malls weren't available and imported ingredients were,,, well... not that common.
Okay, it was my twin sister who made that analysis,,, she's boring. So now, this recipe is amazing.... and the result.... Oh... My... Gosh, Heaven!!! Okay, maybe not so much as heaven, if my mom reads this she'll be giving me a lecture on blasphemy... you get my drift though, right?
Tip 1: You can use whichever chicken part you prefer, though the ones closest to the bone are tastier
Tip 2: You can make the dough in advance, freeze it up to one week. Thaw it for few hours in the fridge, then bring it to room temperature before using it.
Tip 3: You can make the fillings 2 days in advance. Again, bring it to room temperature before using it.
Tip 4: Because this dough is soooo amazing, you can play with it. You can choose whatever filling you want. I think as simple as hotdog and cheese to as complex as fruit preserves.
Tip 5: If you can't find the linked chorizo, just the tapa-sliced-type will do, just follow the weight
4 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons salt
2 stick (1/2 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 large eggs + 1 for brushing crust
2/3 cup ice water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
3 whole chicken legs, including thighs (2 to 2 1/4 pounds 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
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (1 Knorr chicken cube will do)
This took me 3.5 hours active time, yes that might be 2 or less hours for you.
To make the 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. (Mixture will look shaggy.)
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. Form dough into a flat rectangle and chill, wrapped in plastic wrap, at least 1 hour.
To make the 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, raisins, 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.
Forming and baking of empañada
Form dough into a ball, then wrap in oiled plastic wrap (oiled side in) and let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400°F. Grease 2 15x10-inch shallow baking pan (1 inch deep) with 1 tablespoon oil.
Form smaller balls roughly 2x2 inch. Spread a tablespoon or more of filling, evenly and leaving 1 inch border. Moisten border with water then fold to make a half moon shape. Press the edges together and sill. Roll the edges in and press to form a decorative rim. Roll out remaining dough in the same manner.
Bake empanada 15 minutes, then brush crust with the beaten egg. Bake until crust is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven and brush empanada with remaining egg. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a rack, then slide empanada onto rack using a wide metal spatula and cool to warm.
I didn't think I'd ever say this,,, but this one made me realize... this is why I want to learn how to cook.... so I can eat good food like this one.
Impress your love ones, enjoy eating and most especially,,, happy cooking!
Acoustic Chef, cookin’one tune at a time!