Thursday, September 30, 2010

Baked Chicken Empanadas

One of my favorite things from Taco Bell used to be the caramel apple empanada. Minus the fact that it was over 300 calories it was delicious. I loved the pastry outside and the gooeyinside made it that much better. When I found this recipe here I had to try it. I could still get the delicious pastry outside but with a much healthier inside. Plus they are baked instead of fried! I slightly adapted the recipe to include a small can of green chilies instead of the jalopeno since it's what we had on hand.

3 cups chopped, cooked chicken
8 ounces shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
4 ounces of cream cheese softened
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 jalopeno, seeded and chopped (or small can of green chilies)
1 tbsp ground cumin (I used chili powder)
1.5 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
15 oz package refrigerated pie crusts

Preheat oven to 400ยบ. Lightly grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and the next 7 ingredients. Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15 inch curcle. Cut out rounds, using a 3-inch cookie cutter or the rim of a cup. Re-roll dough as needed to make 12-15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean flat surface. Lightly brush the edge of the crust with water. Place one heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture into the center of the round. Fold dough over the filling and press the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with remaining rounds and chicken mixture. (At this point, the recipe can be frozen for up to 1 month) Arrange empanadas on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

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