Sunday, September 06, 2009

Chicken, Apple, & Cheddar Empañadas

If making fresh pastry dough is too fussy for the time at hand, substitute prepared pie dough, canned crescent roll dough, or simply make quesadillas using the filling below and flour tortillas.

1 sm. Granny Smith apple, diced 1/4"
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp butter
1 sm. red onion, minced fine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 8-oz boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary (or 3/4 tsp dried)
2/3 C sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
salt & pepper to taste
pastry dough (recipe follows) or 2 cans crescent roll dough

Mix apples & lemon juice. In medium skillet on medium heat, melt butter and cook onion and garlic until soft (3 min). Add apple & cook until just softened (2 min). Add chicken and cook through. Dump mixture into a bowl. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Shred chicken; mix in cheese and seasonings. Fill small folds of dough (about 3-4 inches) with 2-3 Tbsp of filling, crimp shut with fork, and brush with beaten egg. Do not over--fill, or filling will leak out! Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until golden.

Pastry dough for empañadas:
3 3/4 C flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp shortening
12 Tbsp butter
1/2 C + 2 Tbsp ice water

Cut shortening and butter into flour, salt, & sugar. Add water 1 spoonful at a time, stirring gently until a dough just begins to come together. Press together into a ball and knead the minimum amount needed to form a cohesive dough. Roll out on floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter to form 3-4 inch circles, or a pizza cutter to form 3-4 inch squares. Fill with small amount of filling (2 Tbsp is usually enough), and fold in half; crimp closed with fork.

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