Open-Faced Chicken Empanadas

Open-Faced Chicken Empanadas

Although this recipe has plenty of steps to keep you busy in the kitchen, the end result is worth all of the hard work: open-faced chicken empanadas, topped with a mango-corn relish. A single bite that hits all the right notes — spicy, sweet, tangy and crunchy.

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  • 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • 2. Prepare the sofrito by placing all ingredients (reserving 2Tbs canola oil) in a food processor and process until finely ground. Heat remaining 2Tbs canola oil in medium skillet over medium-low heat. Add mixture and saute 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 2 cups.
  • 3. For the filling: Heat oil in ovenproof skillet over moderate heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Saute skin-side down until golden; about 7 minutes. Flip chicken, add onion and celery to skillet. Place in oven and roast 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  • 4. Remove chicken and let cool enough to handle. Discard onion and celery, reserving 3 Tbs of pan drippings. Shred chicken and set aside.
  • 5. In a medium skillet, add reserved pan drippings and heat over moderate heat. Add sofrito, water, reserved chicken, paprika, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, cilantro, salt and pepper. Stir to combine and heat through allowing the flavors to meld; about 5-7 minutes. Set aside.
  • 6. For the dough:Place flour and salt into a food processor (with dough blade) and pulse to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and has pea-sized butter pieces. With motor running, add water and process until just incorporated and dough starts to form.
  • 7. Turn mixture out onto floured surface and gather together. Knead a few times to bring the dough together. Cover and keep chilled, resting 30 minutes.
  • 8. For the mango-corn relish: Heat oil in small skillet over moderate heat. Add corn and jalapeno and saute until golden, stirring occasionally; about 7 minutes. Add mango, honey, lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper and cook 2 more minutes. Set aside.
  • 9. Assemble the empanadas: On a floured surface, roll out 1/4 of the dough until very thin (almost paper-thin). Cut into 3-inch rounds.
  • 10. Take each round by the edge and begin folding pleats by forming the dough edge into a backward "S" and pinching together. Continue around the edge of the dough round until you have a bite-sized "bowl."
  • 11. Place formed empanada bowls into a greased mini-muffin pan. Place 1-2 teaspoons of filling into each bowl and top with 3-4 cubes of the white cheddar cheese.
  • 12. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown; about 15-20 minutes. Top with mango-corn relish, a small dollop of sour cream, and extra chopped cilantro to serve.
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