Chicken Mole Empanadas, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Chicken Mole Empanadas

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1-2 hours
Servings: 18 empanadas
Have some leftover chicken lying around? Give these chicken mole empanadas a shot and savor this rich, protein-filled treat that is ideal for any time of day.

Are you the type of person who runs to the grocery store every other day? Or are you the type who makes a grocery list to stock your pantry? There are certain staples that I always keep on hand, like fresh produce, dried chiles, Mexican chocolate, and chicken.

All of these foods can be used for a variety of recipes at a moment's notice. For me, fall is a favorite time of year for baking empanadas, sweet as well as savory. They are easy to store and keep warm without a lot of fuss when it comes to sharing.

Ingredients

  • Chicken Filling
  • 8 ancho chiles
  • cups chicken broth (set aside 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Empanada Dough
  • 1 cup shortening melted
  • 6 ounces light beer cold
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups flour plus more for dusting
  • To Make the Empanadas
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small white onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups chicken cooked, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon anise ground
  • 1/3 disc Mexican chocolate
  • 1/8 cup sesame seeds toasted, plus 3 tablespoons set aside
  • 1 egg whisked with 2 tablespoons of water

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Directions

  1. Remove the stems and seeds from the ancho chiles. Transfer to a microwave-safe dish, cover with water and cook in microwave for 8 minutes. Remove from microwave, drain water and transfer to the blender. Add 1 cup of broth, 1 teaspoon of salt and blend on high until smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large glass bowl, melt the shortening in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cold beer, salt and baking powder, stir gently. Gradually add in the flour until dough forms and is no longer sticky. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  3. While the dough is chilling, add three tablespoons of oil to a large skillet and heat to medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the sauce from blender, chicken, along with all the spices. Add the other 1½ cups chicken broth, stir well to combine. When it comes to a simmer, add the Mexican chocolate and cook until completely melted. Taste for salt. Cover and cook for a good 30 minutes, until sauce reduces and becomes thick. Remove from heat and fold in 1/8 cup of toasted sesame seeds. Let cool slightly.
  4. Preheat oven to 395 ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Remove dough from refrigerator and divide into 18 dough balls. On a lightly floured flat surface roll out ball to about 4½ to 5 inches, fill with about 4 tablespoons of chicken filling, fold and pinch to seal.
  5. Transfer to lined baking sheets and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown. All ovens are different, so times may vary. Serve right away or at room temperature. Cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Serve with your favorite rice dish and salsa, garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
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