Tequila Lime Chicken Empanadas
– cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes- makes 24 empanadas –
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 cups (about 1 ¼ lbs) chicken, finely chopped/minced/shredded
¾ cup cilantro, chopped
6-7 cloves (about 2 tbsp) garlic, minced
2 medium (about 3 tbsp) jalapeno peppers, minced
3 tbsp butter
½ cup chicken stock
3 tbsp gold tequila
3 tbsp lime juice (1 medium lime, freshly squeezed)
½ medium red onion, diced
½ medium red bell pepper, diced
½ medium yellow bell pepper, diced
½ medium green bell pepper, diced
¾ cup heavy cream
1 (8-ounce) package shredded Colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
1 (15-oz) package refrigerated piecrusts
Salt and pepper to taste
– Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
– Rinse the chicken, pat dry with a paper towel, and chop into very fine dime-sized pieces (the smaller they are, the easier it will be to fold your empanadas). Marinate the chicken in soy sauce for at least 5 minutes, set aside.
– Cook the cilantro, garlic and jalapeno in 2 tbsp butter over medium heat for 5 minutes. Next add the chicken stock, tequila and lime juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, and stir. Bring to a light boil until the mixture reduces to a thicker consistency, about 10 minutes. Take off heat and set aside.
– With remaining butter cook the onion and peppers over medium heat, stirring intermittently until the onion becomes clear and the peppers limp. Add the chicken with its soy sauce liquid, and stir until chicken pieces turn white.
– Add the cream and bring to a low boil until the liquid reduces to a thicker consistency, about 10 minutes. Add the reduced tequila mixture, and continue to boil another 5 minutes. Chicken should be thoroughly cooked and the sauce thick. Salt and pepper to taste. Take off heat and set aside. When cool, add entire contents of shredded cheese packet.
– Unroll 1 piecrust onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out a little thinner, about a 15-inch circle, with a rolling pin (*a straight-edged, side-turned drinking glass will do (*can use an upturned glass for cutting too)), and cut out rounds using a 3-inch cookie-cutter if you have it. Take the remaining dough, re-roll, and repeat until there is no dough left. Do the same with 2nd piecrust.
– Arrange the circles on two lightly greased baking sheets. Place a spoonful of the chicken with cheese mixture into the center of each circle. Fold the dough over the filling into half moon shapes. Press the edges with a fork to give them that curly-edge look and to seal your little empanadas tight.
– Bake for 13-15 minutes until golden.