Chicken and bean puff pastry empanadas

  • For the filling
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 (450g) tin black beans, drained, rinsed well
  • 250g finely shredded cooked chicken
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh coriander leaves
  • For the assembly
  • 1 package prepared puff pastry
  • Flour, for rolling out pastry
  • About 4 tbsp vegetable oil, for brushing
  • For the tomato and pineapple salsa fresca
  • 500g ripe tomatoes (about 3 medium), roughly chopped
  • 1 (425g) tin pineapple pieces, juice strained
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno chilli, seeded, finely minced
  • 3 green onions, finely sliced into 1/3-cm rounds
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 pinches caster sugar
  • Salt
Filling:

1) Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Saute the onions and garlic until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the spices, stir to mix fully and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

2) Add the black beans and chicken and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the black beans are heated through, about 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and let the mixture cool fully. Add the coriander and stir well.

Assembly:

1) Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5.

2) Lay out a sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Flour the top of the dough and roll out the puff pastry until it is about 1/5-cm thick and about 30 by 40cm in size. Trim the edges to size, if necessary. Cut 10-cm wide strips crosswise and lengthwise making 12 (10 by 10cm) squares. Make sure the squares are well floured and stack them in a little pile.

3) Fill a little dish with some room temperature water. Imagine each square you work with is separated in half by a diagonal. Place a couple of tablespoons of filling in the top half. Dip a finger into the water and moisten the edges of the top half with water. Fold the bottom half to meet the edges of the top half. Use a fork to pinch and seal the edges. Lightly brush the tops with vegetable oil.

4) Place the finished pockets on a nonstick baking sheet and bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy.

Tomato and pineapple salsa fresca:

1) In a medium bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, pineapple, garlic, jalapeno and green onions. Mix well.

2) Add the lime juice, sugar and salt, to taste. Toss well.

Serve with the chicken empanadas.

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