Argentinian Chicken Empanadas

This recipe for Argentinian chicken empanadas was our second go at this month’s box from the America’s Test Kitchen Young Chefs’ Club. This months theme? Dumplings!

Related foods across the globe

I’ve not made this filling previously, but a Facebook friend talked about it when I asked my network to help identify the source of a recipe my mother used to make. It was “spiced beef with raisins” – onion, garlic and ground beef, sauteed and then stewed for 15-20 min with water, tomato sauce, rice, basil, cinnamon and cloves, salt and pepper. Mom used to serve it in pita.

I looked through my cookbooks (I have a lot of cookbooks), and the closest I found was picadillo, a somewhat related dish made in Latin America and the Philippines. One friend thought Moroccan. Another mentioned lumpia. A third a Middle Eastern dish called arayes. The medieval literature expert thought it sounded like a recipe for Canelyne Pie. Just another example of how foods migrate and get adapted as they move around the globe.

Anyway, tonight’s empanada were a mixture of onion, red pepper, garlic and ground chicken seasoned with paprika, cumin, oregano, tomato paste, and a bit of cayenne. It was the raisins and olives that made me think of that picadillo conversation.

Now don’t get me started about dumplings…

Kiddo has become expert at empanada making:

The ATK recipe had instructed us to throw out our dough scraps after the dessert empanadas. I ignored that instruction – the re-rolled scraps were enough for more than 6 more empanadas! Granted, they lost a smidge of flakiness after the freeze and re-roll, but I promise you there were no complaints around the table.

We will definitely be making these again.

What’s next?

If you have any questions about the ATK Young Chefs’ Club or want to chat about cooking with kids, feel free to send me a note or drop a comment.

Check out some other of our cooking adventures, including the fig bacon jam pasta recipe that kiddo and I developed together or the strawberry heart pop tarts we made.

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