Fried Chicken Empanadas with Chilli Con Queso Dip

This crispy crunchy dumplings are served with a spicy, cheesy dip.
  • For the empanadas
  • 680 g chopped, cooked chicken, about 4 to 5 chicken breasts
  • 1 (225 g) package shredded colby and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 115 g cream cheese, softened
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsps salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 (425 g) package refrigerated pie crusts (recommended: Pillsbury)
  • Water
  • For the chilli con queso dip
  • 450 g package cheddar (recommended: Velveeta)
  • 1 (450 g) tin diced tomatoes, drained
  • 115 g diced green chillies
  • 2 tsps hot sauce

1) Preheat vegetable oil in a deep-fryer to 180 degrees C.

2) In a large bowl using a rubber spatula, combine the chicken, colby and Monterey cheese, cream cheese, red pepper, jalapeno, cumin, salt, and pepper. Remove 1 pie crust from pie tin onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 40 cm circle. Cut out rounds, using a 7 cm cookie cutter. Re-roll dough as needed. Repeat procedure with remaining pie crusts, making 12 to 15 circles total. Arrange 1 round on a clean, flat surface. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of crust with water. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of chicken mixture in the center of the round. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges with a fork to seal. Repeat with the remaining rounds and chicken mixture. Place empanadas in deep-fryer for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown. Top with con queso dip.

Note: Up to this point, the recipe can be made ahead and frozen for up to 1 month.

3. To make the dip: in a medium sauce pot, slowly melt cheddar over medium/low heat. When cheese is fully melted add tomatoes, chillies, and hot sauce, stirring with spoon until combined well.

4. Pour cheese dip into a small casserole dish and serve as a dip for the cheesy empanadas or pour on top for a real cheesy effect.

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