Good morning and happy Friday! TGIF!
I know, you must be thinking, “Hey, it’s not Sunday. Is this a little quickie we get?!” Well, yes, today’s recipe is going to be a special treat. ; ) I’m actually switching the days I post recipes so that you don’t have to wait all weekend for some tasty delights! Are you ready for this? I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly.In honor of this change up, this week’s tasty recipe is a bit of a cheat meal/appetizer: Buffalo Chicken Empanadas!
(You have a little drool on the side of your mouth.)
What do you need to make these spicy delights, you ask?
4 Chicken breasts
1/2 Cup of Ranch dressing – Filling
Extra Ranch dressing for dipping
1/2 Cup of Mozzarella cheese – shredded – Filling
Frank’s Red Hot to taste – Filling
Salt to taste
3 Packages of empanada dough discs (I used Goya. They came in packs of 10 and I found them in the frozen food aisle by the ethnic/Hispanic food.)
Are you excited?! I’m excited! I made these for a family gathering we had and they were so tasty I couldn’t stop eating them… Sorry fam. Don’t worry, with this recipe I was able to make 22. Depending on how you divvy up your chicken mix, you can get anywhere from 22-30 empanadas. Enough for the whole gang! (Yes, Scooby Doo was my favorite childhood cartoon growing up.)
Now that we’ve reminisced, let’s move along to our preparation. First, make sure that you have thawed out your empanada discs before you start this recipe. You can do so by throwing them from the freezer into the fridge for a day. Or you can leave them out on the counter for a few hours. They need to be pliable enough to handle and fold.
Next take a large pot and fill it with enough water that it will fully cover the 4 chicken breasts. Add a dash of olive oil and a little salt and bring that pot to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the chicken breasts and set a timer for 10 minutes. This will cook the chicken so that it is tender enough to shred easily.
While that’s boiling, take a plate and put a few pieces of paper towel down on it. After the timer has gone off, turn the burner off and remove the chicken breasts and place them onto the plate with paper towel so that the excess water can drain off of them. Next, get a cutting board, two forks and a mixing bowl (shit’s about to get real up in here!):
Take one of the chicken breasts on the cutting board and start shredding with your forks by pulling away from each other. The chicken will be super tender from being boiled, so you won’t have any issues with consistency.
After you have shredded all 4 breasts (sounds so wrong, but feels so right?), add Frank’s to the mixing bowl.
Just a little tip (JLT) : Each person has their own degree to which spicy foods effects their palate, so start small and keep adding until you get to the desired level of hotness your mouth can handle. (Rarr) It’s easier to build up than try and remove ingredients.
After you’ve tested your limits (no safe word necessary 😉 ), add in the 1/2 cup of Ranch dressing and mix thoroughly.
Next, take one of the empanada discs and gently roll it out with a rolling pin, or you can gently pull the dough evenly on all sides to expand it’s surface area.
Next place a forkful of the shredded chicken mixture onto the disc, add a little bit of Mozzarella cheese, and fold over the dough. Pinch closed and you’ve got yourself the beginnings of an empanada. Olé!
Now is when this recipe gets a little sinful. I originally tried baking them, so that this recipe would be somewhat healthy, however it didn’t turn out well. The dough was a little rubbery and didn’t taste right. So… the next step was to try frying them. They. Were. INCREDIBLE!
To fry the empanadas, take a saucepan and fill it with an 1/2 inch of oil with a heat of medium-high. The readiness test is when you can put a drop of water in the pan and it starts sizzling.
JLT: I prefer olive oil, but you can use other types of oil to fry as well. I would do some research beforehand though if you use another type of oil, as it may change the flavor of the empanada.
Cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes (until golden brown). When they are done cooking, use tongs to remove them from the saucepan and dry them on a paper towel so that the excess oil is drained off.
JLT: If you’re making a whole batch of these bad boys, I would recommend getting a baking sheet ready with aluminum foil, setting your oven to 350F, and as the empanadas finish frying and you drain them, put them on the baking sheet in the oven to stay warm. (Note: The empanadas are already cooked from the boiled chicken to the frying process, so this is just to keep them warm until you are ready to serve them.)
Once you are done, plate them and serve with a side of Ranch or Blue Cheese. Or, if you’re feeling super wild, BOTH!
These were such a hit at our family gathering. I’m sure they will be at yours as well.
As always, thank you so much for stopping by and cooking with my on Stark Naked. I hope you enjoyed this recipe and hope to see you back here next FRIDAY!