Puerto Rican Chicken Empanadas (Empanadillas de Pollo)

Updated on March 28, 2020
IslandBites profile image

Island Bites is a Puerto Rican cook with decades of experience in the kitchen. She's an expert in Latin American cuisine.

A delicious pile of empanadas.
A delicious pile of empanadas. | Source

What Is an Empanada?

The empanada is a tasty and popular dish in Latin and Caribbean countries. It is a stuffed, flaky pastry in the shape of a half-moon that is either baked or fried. There are different fillings for the empanadas in each country, with beef and chicken being the most popular.

In Puerto Rico, empanadas (also known as empanadillas) are fried treats, never baked. Empanadilla de carne (ground beef empanada) is Puerto Rico's favorite, but fish, crab, "pizza," and chicken empanadillas are also found in every kiosk around the Island.

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 5 min
Ready in: 35 min

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil, lard or vegetable shortening
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • water, warm
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

For the chicken filling:

  • 3 boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons sofrito
  • 2 tablespoons roasted red peppers, diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 8 to 10 olives, sliced
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 can Goya tomato sauce, or 3/4 cup tomato puree, or (2 tablespoons tomato paste + 1/2 cup of water)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • water, if necessary

Step 1: Make the Dough

  1. In a big bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add oil or lard and warm water. Mix until incorporated. Use just enough water to form a dough ball.
  2. Turn empanada dough out onto a floured surface. Knead the dough for 3 or 4 minutes. Cover and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 2: Make the Chicken Filling

  1. Add oil to a big skillet. Saute sofrito in hot oil for two minutes at medium-high temperature. Add tomato sauce, olives, peppers and spices. Mix and saute for another 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper.
  2. Add chicken to the sauce and turn down the temperature. Cover and let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the chicken from the sauce and let it rest for a minute or two. Shred the chicken.
  4. Add the shredded chicken and small diced potatoes to the sauce. If necessary, add some water. Let it simmer uncovered until the sauce is reduced and the potatoes are fork-tender.
  5. Let it cool completely.

Step 3: Assemble the Empanadas

  1. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a 1/8-inch layer.
  2. Use a cutter or small plate to cut 5- to 6-inch circles or discs.
  3. Put a scoop of the chicken filling in each dough disc, fold and seal the edges with a fork.
  4. Heat 2 inches of oil in a skillet at medium-high temperature. Fry empanadas 2 or 3 minutes per side, until golden and crispy.

Chicken Empanada
Chicken Empanada | Source

Rate this recipe!

3.5 stars from 79 ratings of Puerto Rican Chicken Empanadas

Notes and Tips

  • Pizza empanadas are also very popular among Puerto Ricans. To make pizza empanadas, just add your favorite marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese to your dough discs.
  • To seal your empanadas, you could pinch or twist the borders instead of using a fork.
  • Annatto oil can be added to the dough to give it color and flavor.

Fried empanadas.
Fried empanadas. | Source

Want a Beef Empanada?

Check out this ground beef filling recipe: Puerto Rican Alcapurrias.

Comments

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    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      3 months ago from Puerto Rico

      Hi! Im happy you found my recipe. I hope you like it. I have more Puerto Rican and latin recipes, You could check them out.

      Buen provecho!

    • profile image

      DaDomesticDiva 

      3 months ago

      So Quarantine has us with limited items st home. It seems in my social media feed lady week, everyone was making these. Well it's Saturday no home school so I've landed in your page. Time consuming but I'm sure worth it. I'm latina love to cook and bake so im always looking for recipes. Cannot wait to hook this up. Have my dough resting and preparing chicken and beef. Be safe.

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      4 months ago from Puerto Rico

      Awesome. Thank you, BeckyB!

    • profile image

      BeckyB 

      4 months ago

      I just made these empanadas and they came out so good. Thanks for the recipe. I will definitely hold onto this one to make again.

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      11 months ago from Puerto Rico

      That's great! Im glad you liked it. Thanks for the comment!

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      11 months ago from Puerto Rico

      Glad you liked it!

    • profile image

      Kdube1 

      11 months ago

      Thank you so much for the recipe I made this for my family and they were definitely hit absolute fave I will be definitely using this recipe again in the future

    • profile image

      Katie Anne 

      11 months ago

      I’m made these for my family and that are absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for this recipe I will definitely be making it again in the future.

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      ElleV, that's (goya sauce) what I use too. LOL Just that many people can't find it, some don't even know what is it. I'm going to adjust the recipe, thanks.

      By the way, thanks for stopping by!

    • profile image

      ElleV 

      3 years ago

      Tried this recipe tonight for the second time! The first time I made it, I subbed Tomato puree for a can of Goya tomato sauce because that's what I had on hand, added a glove of garlic, and did not add cumin (too powerful of a spice for my taste.). I also seasoned with Adobo. It came out perfect!!!! SUPER tasty and it was incredible! Tried making this again tonight, but I actually used Tomato puree... I am so disappointed. It tastes very bland and toooooo tomatoey as opposed to when I used to Goya tomato sauce. That's my personal preference though =). Otherwise, this is an amazing, tasty recipe and one that I'll use from here on forward!

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      That was a great idea. I'm so glad you liked it!

    • profile image

      Annie 

      3 years ago

      This recipe is awesome....They are delicious! I didn't have roasted peppers so but i had a fresh pepper that was turning red so, I place it on stove top and roasted it myself . Thanks for sharing your recipe.

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      3 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Hi, Veronica. Add 1/2 tsp. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Veronica 

      3 years ago

      How much baking powder do you add?

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      I'm glad you liked it! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Gio 

      4 years ago

      Wow!!! These came out so good! I omitted olives because I don't like them and didn't have roasted peppers but followed the rest of the recipe. Everyone in my house loved them. Thank you!

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      4 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Glad you liked them!!

    • profile image

      Pam 

      4 years ago

      I just did your empanadas and they came out amazing!!!! Thank you for the recipe!

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      5 years ago from Puerto Rico

      I've never dip empanadas in any kind of sauce, but will try the vinegar. Thanks for the comment!

    • FullOfLoveSites profile image

      FullOfLoveSites 

      5 years ago from United States

      I don't know if it's just me, but I'd love to dip my empanadas in vinegar. I miss them! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I've never tried cooking empanadas yet myself but I will try!

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      5 years ago from Puerto Rico

      You're welcome!

    • OldRoses profile image

      Caren White 

      5 years ago

      Thank you for reminding me that I haven't eaten empanadas in years. I used to love them. I can't wait to try this recipe and eat empanadas again. Voted up and shared.

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      5 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Thanks CrisSp!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 

      5 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      I love chicken empanadas. I don't remember the last time I did this at home. Now, I really feel like it. :)

      Bookmarking and will surely try it.

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      5 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Hope you like it! Thanks for the comment!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 

      5 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      This looks delicious! I have heard of these, and just made dough similar to this recently. Soon I will test this one out.

      Thanks for sharing this with us, and have a great day!

      ~ Kathryn

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      6 years ago from Puerto Rico

      I hope you like it. Thanks!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I love this recipe idea. I will have to try it soon. Thanks for sharing from your recipe collection.

    • IslandBites profile imageAUTHOR

      IslandBites 

      6 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Thank you, guys!

    • Thief12 profile image

      Carlo Giovannetti 

      6 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Me want!! :-D Voted UP!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      6 years ago from USA

      This was a very different recipe. Thank you for sharing. Looks good!

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