Guide to baked chicken empanadas

Guide to baked chicken empanadas

These Argentinian meat pies use wonderfully spiced caramelised chicken and tomatoes

Video Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News


Chicken empanada
Use about 500gm chicken

1 piece baby chicken (450-500g), bone-off

Chimichurri (recipe below)

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

50 gms  white onion

2 gms fresh thyme

1 tsp cumin

50 gms diced tomatoes

Smoked paprika

For the chimichurri

900 gms parsley

35 gms chilli flakes

60 gms garlic, chopped

30 gms dry oregano

3 gms olive oil

80 gms white vinegar

50 gms salt

10 gms pepper

For the empanada dough

3 cups all-purpose flour

A pinch of salt

170 gms butter, cubed

1 egg

1/4 to 1/2 cup of water (water needs to be adjusted to obtain a soft and smooth dough)


1. To make the dough, add the flour, salt and butter into a food processor and pulse until half incorporated.

2. Add the egg and the water until a clumpy dough forms.

3. Remove from food processor and mix by hand until smooth.

4. Cut in half and rest for 30 minutes.

5. Roll the dough into a thin sheet and cut out with a round disc (if you don’t have one, use a small plate for shaping and a knife for cutting). Once cut, you can either use the dough immediately, store it in the refrigerator for 2 days, or freeze in a sealed container and use for up to a month. Tip: For the best results, refrigerate the stuffed empanada for 30 minutes to allow the dough to set with the filling so it does not lose its shape

6. To make the chimichurri, wash the parsley and dry in the lettuce spinner until water is fully removed. Make paste of garlic cloves. Finely chop the parsley leaves, and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Rectify seasoning once it has settled for one day.


7. For the marination of the chicken, brush chimichurri on the skin side of the chicken only and sprinkle some salt and pepper over.

Chicken empanada
Marinate with chimichurri

8. Place chicken on the grill skin side down and cook 10 minutes until caramelised and skin is crispy and it is cooked. Then spoon criolla sauce on chicken and finish in the oven at 180C for only 3 minutes to avoid drying out the chicken. Remove the wing and dice.

Empanada chicken
Empanada chicken
...then bake
Empanada chicken
Remove the wing and dice

9. Meanwhile heat a pan, add oil and saute white onion with thyme and cumin, salt and pepper for about five minutes to caramelise onions, then add the chicken pieces to fully cook the chicken for a minute or so. Add paprika and diced tomatoes and cook for about 1 minute. Set aside to cool.

Empanada chicken
Add onion and spices
Empanada chicken
Add tomatoes towards the end

10. Spoon portions of the stuffing into each dough round, leaving a margin at the sides to fold over.

Empanada chicken
Fill about 50gm of stuffing in dough
Empanada chicken
Press down to seal
Empanada chicken
Crimp the edges

11. Brush with egg yolk, lightly, to avoid a heavy eggy flavour and bake at 180C for about 7-10 minutes until dough is cooked and crispy.

Brush only lightly with egg to avoid a heavy eggy flavour
Serve warm!
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