Wanting to make your own empanadas without having to spend a lot of money? With this recipe you can make 12 empanadas for under $20. Doesn't that sound amazing? To begin this delicious creation you first need to buy the frozen empanada dough, boneless chicken breast, bell peppers, onions and cheese from any grocery store. Any ingredients can be used to stuff your empanadas and if you want to add some spice a little diced jalapeños would be great but do not add the seeds or it will be too spicy.
First you need to prep for your dish. This includes cleaning your boneless chicken breast by removing any fat that you don't want on the chicken as well as a really good washing of the chicken with some salt. Now don't be alarmed, the salt is only to try and purify the chicken and it won't make the chicken salty. Next you get a pot of water and mix different seasonings into the water for taste. I like to use pepper, salt, minced onion, onion powder, parsley, basil and a pinch of oregano because oregano is very strong and can over power the taste. Now don't be shy with the seasoning in the water or else you will have bland chicken. Once the chicken breast is fully cleaned and before adding it into the pot poke holes into both sides of chicken with either a fork or a knife. Then you can add it into the seasoned pot of water and let it cook. Depending on how high you have the stove on, the quicker it will start to boil and cook. I recommend keeping it on medium heat and letting it boil for at least two and a half hours so it can cook thoroughly and the juices can seep into the chicken. The secret to creating the best empanadas is actually the seasoning.
About 30 minutes before the chicken is done you need to prep for the rest of the ingredients that you will stuff the empanadas with and take the empanada dough from out of the freezer. I used fresh red, green, and orange bell peppers and white onions. First, I washed the vegetables and then diced them and put the vegetables into a skillet so it can sautee. When the vegetables have a nice color and are a little softer than before they are ready to be used. Any type of cheese will suffice, shredded or the block cheese. But for my spice, since I have a child who will eat it as well, I used the block pepper jack cheese and sliced into thin sections.
Now that you have the main ingredients done, you start stuffing the empanada dough with the cheese, bell peppers, onions and chicken but not to much or else it wont fold over and close. Sometimes it rips in the process and that is because you either stuffed it a little too much or the dough is becoming very soft since you let it defrost. Now to ensure that it closes completely you will need a fork to gently press the edges together, it will make indentations in the dough which is perfectly normal.
When you are almost done with stuffing all of the empanadas get another pot to heat up cooking oil and once that is hot enough you can start putting the empanadas in. Make sure that the heat is not up to high or else as soon as you put the empanadas in it will burn them quickly and the hot oil will pop every where. Be very careful. A trick I learned to get evenly cooked and thoroughly cooked empanadas is to only add a few at a time. In my opinion I say no more than three empanadas being cooked at a time. Now once you get that golden color on both sides you can take the empanadas out and add your garnish on the side or on top. I like to add black beans, guacamole and salsa on mine. Now you can serve and enjoy this delicious and easy meal for an affordable budget.