Empanadas

Empandas recipe

Traditional in Spain and Portugal, empanadas are little pastry pockets with an intensely flavoured savoury filling. They are great eaten any time but make a particularly good tapas-style snack with a cold beer.
For the filling
750g chicken thighs, skin on, bones in
7 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
150g/3½oz raw chorizo, finely diced
2 cans of tomatoes
2 tsp smoked paprika (hot if you like spicy empanadas)
salt and pepper
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
For the empanada dough
625g flour
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
1.5 tsp fast action yeast
120ml olive oil
250ml warm water
beaten egg, to finish

Method
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

For the filling, put the chicken thighs in a small roasting dish, season well all over with salt and pepper and roast for about 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside to cool a little.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Put the flour in a large bowl and mix in the salt , paprika and yeast. Pour in the oil and warm water. Start mixing, until you have a soft dough. Turn this out onto a clean work surface and knead it gently for a couple of minutes, or until smooth. Return the dough to its bowl, cover and set aside to rest while you prepare the filling.
To finish the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for 10–12 minutes, or until soft.

Add the garlic, chorizo and peppers. Cook over a medium heat for 5–8 minutes, stirring often, until the chorizo is cooked. Add the vinegar and cook for a further minute or two. Add the tinned tomatoes cook for 20-30 minutes until the mixture is thick and rich.

Once the chicken thighs are cool enough to handle, remove the skin. Pull all the meat from the bones and chop it roughly. Add to the chorizo mixture. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed (the chorizo is already quite salty), then leave to cool completely.

Turn the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6 and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.

Lightly flour the work surface and roll out the dough to a thickness of 3-4mm. Use a 12cm/4½in cutter or a small bowl to cut out discs. Divide the filling between the discs. Dampen the edges of the dough with water then fold over one half of each disc to make a semicircular parcel. Press the edges together firmly then crimp or press the edges with a fork.

Put the empanadas on the baking tray and brush with beaten egg. Bake for 15–20 minutes, or until golden-brown. Eat them warm, on their own or with a chilli sauce.