Chicken, Olive and Hard-boiled Egg Empanadas


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground chipotle
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 bay leaf
1 lb ground chicken
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1/2 cup halved pimento-stuffed olives

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
10 frozen empanada wrappers, defrosted  (we used Goya)



Sauté spices, onions, and shallot until golden. Add the ground chicken, brown. Add olives, tomato paste, and a couple tablespoons water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated. Refrigerate, covered 3 hrs to overnight.

Three hours later..
Preheat oven to 425.

Stir the egg into the chicken mixture. Place the wrappers on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Put 1/4 cup filling into each wrapper, leaving a 1/4 inch margin. Pierce the tops with a fork. Fold the top over the filling, use the tines of a fork to seal firmly, using a bit of water on the edge if needed.  Brush with milk or beaten egg if desired. Bake for 18 minutes.

Note: You may have some filling leftover. I suggest you heat it up with some rice for an easy lunch.

Tip: Some of our wrappers were split when we took them out of the package; if it happens to you, don’t despair, just press the pieces back together.

My thoughts:
When Matt went to the grocery store on April 1st, he picked up some empanada wrappers. We are totally the type to only make our own wrappers but we weren’t sure what the flour situation was going to be and he thought making empanadas might be a fun project. 
I was a little nervous about using the wrappers, I always have the worst luck when it comes to using short cuts, my Jell-O from the box doesn’t set but my plain gelatin made with freshly sieved juice comes out just fine. But these were fine! They came out of the package a little worse for the wear but we were able to patch them back together and proceed. 
Since were are quarantined, we did have to make do a bit with what we have and used ground chicken for the filling (it was actually very good, just take care to use good paprika) instead of beef, did a milk wash instead of using an egg, and we didn’t have fresh peppers so we doubled up the ground spices. 
The result? Very satisfying! I remember the first time I had an empanada. I was in high school and it was a language arts fair. I was there with some members of my French class and we got to sample food from around the world. The empanadas from the Argentinian booth were so good! They had olives and hard-boiled eggs in them (I had scarcely had an olive back then, my dad had a very limited palate and we all had to cater to him) which are two of my favorite things and I’ve thought of them often. Baltimore still doesn’t have many empanada places but there were really none back then. I really have thought of them often over the years. 
If you use the wrappers, these are very quick to make. It’s only waiting for the filling to cool that takes a bit. They are very flavorful thanks to the spice mixture and the olives. The perfect homemade snack or dinner. 

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