Want a filling merienda for hubby and the kids this weekend? Try your hand at baking and learn how to make this Filipino snack staple. After perfecting the chicken empanada, you can also experiment with different fillings such as chili con carne, roasted vegetables, or apples and caramel. Prep Time 1 hour Cooking Time 35 minutes Yields 18 to 20 pieces Here's what you'll need:
3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting 1/4 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup cold butter or margarine, cut into small cubes 2-3 tablespoons cold water, or as needed 1 medium egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water (egg wash) 2 tablespoons butter or margarine 1/4 cup onion, chopped 1 teaspoon garlic, minced 250 grams chicken breast fillet, boiled and shredded 1/4 cup diced potatoes, blanched until half-cooked 1/4 cup diced carrots, blanched until half-cooked 1/2 cup condensed cream of mushroom soup 1/4 cup evaporated milk salt, pepper, and sugar, to taste
1 Make the dough: Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add cold butter cubes. Work butter into the flour mixture, cutting the butter in using two paring knives or rubbing the butter into the flour with your hands until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (you can also use a food processor for this step.)
2 Add water, a few tablespoons at a time. Gently mix until a ball of dough forms. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
3 While dough is resting, make the chicken filling: melt butter or margarine in a medium pan. Add onions and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
4 Add chicken, potatoes, and carrots. Cook for 1 minute. Add cream of mushroom and evaporated milk; mix well. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar to taste. Let mixture cool.
5 When the dough is ready, preheat oven to 350°F. Dust your hands and work surface with flour. Place the dough on the floured surface and press it down with your hands. Use a rolling pin to flatten it to about 1/8-inch thick. Using a bowl or cookie cutter, cut the dough into 3 1/2- or 4-inch diameter circles.
6 Place about 1 tablespoon chicken filling in the center of each circle. Fold half of the circle over. Seal by pressing the edges with a fork. Lightly dock the tops of the empanadas with a fork.
7 Arrange empanadas on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Brush each empanada with egg wash.
8 Bake for about 20 minutes or until the empanadas turn light brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving.