That you can hold in the palm of your hand!!
I was browsing chicken recipes on the Food Network on Thursday night and happened to stumble along a recipe for chicken empanadas from Paula Deen. Now, normally I wouldn’t even bother opening a link to a Paula Deen recipe. It’s not that I don’t like her…I’ll watch her if she’s on, but nothing she makes ever looks like anything I would want to make at home. Too much butter and cream and what not. And too much mayo!! Has anyone else noticed how often she uses a lot of mayo. I LOATHE mayo and I refuse to cook with it. I had her on TV the other day and she was making something all white and creamy per usual and Eric came in just as she was glopping a big ole’ scoop of mayo down into a bowl in all it’s white, jiggly glory. He says to me: “You know what? Mayo on a big screen TV in HD is unbelievably disgusting.”
It certainly is, Eric…it certainly is. A scoop of mayo as big as your face = the ultimate in appetite killers.
Anyway, I opened the link because I was curious and was pleasantly surprised to see that they were not fried! Reading through the ingredients, the wheels immediately began turning on how I could put my own spin on these. I knew these would be right up Eric’s alley. Now, I’m claiming they are healthy – as they use refrigerated pie crusts, but at least they are baked and not fried! They are a bit laborious to make – but you’ll have that. I don’t mind doing it. It was worth it in the end.
Eric loves little finger food appetizer type things so he mowed down on a whole plate of these and loved them. I liked them too, but I kinda wished they were a bit more crunchy. Next time, I might forgo the pie crust in favor of a prepared pizza or french bread dough so they get a bit more crisp.
I made some changes to the original recipe. Per some reviews, I halved the chicken and it was more than enough. I actually only had one pie crust to work with, because I used the other crust for an actual pie (coming soon to a blog near me) so I had some extra filling left. If I had used both pie crusts in the package, I think it would have been just the right amount. Because of that, I also halved the amount of shredded cheese, and the spices. I kept the 4 oz. of cream cheese, because 2 oz. didn’t seem like enough to bind it together. I swapped a jalapeno for chipotles in adobo and added a green onion, just because I like ’em. 🙂 I cooked down the peppers and the green onion in a tiny bit of olive oil for a couple minutes to mellow them out for my hubby – who I have a feeling would have been turned off by crunchy veggies inside. Yeah, yeah…I know, I know…
CHIPOTLE CHICKEN EMPANADAS (Recipe adapted from: Paula Deen – Foodnetwork.com)
**I served with cheese sauce for dipping. I’d like to say I made it but it’s the Tostido’s stuff. You know…from a jar. Disgraceful, huh? Meh…**
- 1.5 cups chopped, cooked chicken
- 1 cup package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used reduced fat)
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 scallion (whites and greens), chopped
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) package refrigerated pie crusts
- Olive Oil, for brushing on top.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a skillet, cook red pepper, scallion and chipotles in a teaspoon of olive oil until crisp-tender.
Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and next 7 ingredients. Unroll piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15-inch circle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining piecrusts, making 12 to 15 circles total (you will probably get more than this…FYI). Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month). Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes.