Argentinian chicken empanadas: in the kitchen with kiddo

Argentinian chicken empanadas: in the kitchen with kiddo

This was our second go at the America’s Test Kitchen Young Chef Club box this month. Theme: Dumplings! A few weeks ago, kiddo and I made pineapple-coconut empanadas. Tonight’s dinner was Argentinian chicken empanadas.

I’ve not made this filling previously, but a FB 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.

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.

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