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***CRUST RECIPE, MAKES 12 EMPANADAS***
3 cups (360g) all-purpose flour
4 oz (113g) butter-flavored shortening (or butter, or lard)
2 teaspoons (10g) salt (plus more coarse salt for topping)
2 eggs (one for the dough, one for the egg wash)
1/3-1/2 cup (80-118 mL) white wine (or water)
Combine the flour and salt and cut in the fat until you get a breadcrumb-like consistency. Mix in one egg and enough wine (or water) to make it come together into a dough. Knead for a few minutes until it’s somewhat elastic. Cover and refrigerate for at least a half hour before rolling.
Prepare an egg wash by beating an egg with enough water to get a paintable consistency. When the dough has rested, divide into 12 balls and roll them smooth. Roll each one out individually between two sheets of parchment or wax paper until it’s like a thick tortilla.
Put a little filling in the center of each one (filling recipes below), gather the excess up around the filling and crimp the seam across the top of the empanada. If you’re having trouble sealing the crust to itself, bush on some egg wash and use it as glue.
Put all the filled empanadas on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush them all with egg wash and sprinkle a little coarse salt over top. Bake at 400ºF/200ºC until brown.
***CHICKEN FILLING FOR 12 EMPANADAS***
2 big chicken legs (or thighs)
1 14.5 oz (411g) can crushed or diced tomatoes
1 bunch green onions
2-3 garlic cloves
cheese (I used about 60g manchego)
spices (I used oregano, cumin, smoked paprika and a little cinnamon)
Heat a little oil in pot and get the chicken browning. Meanwhile slice the green onions, peel and chop the garlic, and dice the jalapeño. When the chicken is brown, put in the white slices of onion (reserve the greens), jalapeño and garlic and fry all that for a minute. Put in your spices and let them fry for a minute. Deglaze with the canned tomatoes. Put in a pinch of salt to start with, cover, reduce the heat and summer until the chicken is soft — about an hour.
Remove the chicken to a cutting board. While it cools, turn up the heat on the pot and reduce the sauce until very thick, stirring constantly. Pull the meat off the chicken, shred it a bit (but remember it’ll shred more as you stir into the sauce) and maybe chop it a bit if you don’t like long strings of shredded chicken.
Put the chicken in the pot along with the onion greens and some crumbled or shredded cheese. Stir, taste, add more salt if it needs it and possibly some water if it seems to dry — but I think dry fillings are better.
***BEAN FILLING FOR 12 EMPANADAS***
1 15.5 oz (439g) can kidney or black beans
1 red chile
1/2 lb (227g) tomatillos
2-3 garlic cloves
1 bunch fresh cilantro
cheese (I used about 60g of cotija)
Peel and chop the shallot and garlic and chop the chili. Peel the tomatillos and chop them coarsely. Cook all that in some hot oil in a wide pan, stirring frequently until you have the consistency of a jam or chutney. Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pan. Zest in the lime and squeeze in half the juice to start with. Put in the cilantro. Grind in a bunch of pepper, crumble or shred in some cheese, and put in a pinch of sugar to balance all the acidity. Mash up a few of the beans to help bing the mixture together, stir and taste. Add more salt if it needs it.