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Chicken and Corn Empanadas

Philadelphia-based chef Guillermo Pernot shares a favorite empanada recipe: a chicken-and-corn hors d'oeuvre version, made with onion, Monterey Jack cheese, and red and green bell peppers.

  • Yield: Makes 24 empanadas

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television, October 2001


  • Dough for Pork Empanadas with Thyme, chilled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 5 ears small corn, kernels removed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh meat, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Coarse salt
  • 6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon water


  1. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, red-pepper flakes, and oregano. Saute, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt. Cook for 1 minute. Add red and green peppers and corn. Cook until the peppers soften and any liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.

  2. To the same pan, add the chicken, wine, and salt. Cook until chicken is just cooked through and almost all liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Refrigerate filling until chilled; stir in cheese. The filling may be prepared and refrigerated, covered, for up to 2 days.

  3. Fill a small bowl with cold water. Roll out dough to a 1/8-inch thickness. Using a 5-inch plate as a template, cut out 24 circles. Spoon about 1/4 cup chilled filling into the center of a circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Brush border with cold water. Fold the dough over, stretching it slightly, to form a half-moon shape. Beginning at one end, press the edges together to seal, while trying to remove any air pockets. Press again to ensure that empanadas are well sealed. Using a fork or your fingers, crimp the edges to form a decorative edge. Repeat with remaining circles.

  4. Brush the empanadas with egg wash, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes but no longer than 1 day. (Once filled, the empanadas may be frozen and baked later, without defrosting, in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes.)

  5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Arrange empanadas on baking sheets. Bake until puffed and browned, and filling is bubbling inside, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Cook's Notes

When making the empanada dough, you can substitute pure vegetable shortening for lard, if desired.

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