Savory Peanut Butter Chicken Empanadas

By Kris Drewry

As a frequent entertainer I am always hunting around for great appetizers that I can serve for company. I also love something that can be enjoyed without utensils and easily passed around. Enter these chicken empanadas, easy to make and delicious to boot.

I’ve always wanted to play around with putting peanut butter into dough and have created a great one that really could be enjoyed with a sweet or savory filling. Although the filling for these chicken empanadas is on the savory side- using chicken, goat cheese, and jam. Sweet, spicy, and creamy, the spice from the peanut butter is tamed from the goat cheese and apricot jam. Even your pickiest guests will be pleased with this combo, as they were declared a hit at my last dinner party.

Prep time: 1 hour and 20 minutes (includes chilling the dough)
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield: 5 servings

Ingredients

For the chicken empanada dough

1/3 cup cold butter, cut into pieces
2 tablespoons Smooth Operator peanut butter, chilled
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3-4 tablespoons ice water

For the filling

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
2 tablespoons The Heat is On peanut butter
1/4 cup goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup apricot preserves(for topping)

Directions

Chicken Empanadas
For the chicken empanada dough

1. Cut the butter and peanut butter into the flour with a fork until it reaches a crumb like consistency (a pastry cutter or food processor could also be used). Gradually add ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms, being careful to not over mix. Shape into a ball and then flatten into a disc.

2. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.

3. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

4. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until it is ¼ of an inch thick all around. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter (any size you want). Place 1-2 tablespoons of chicken mixture (recipe below) on one side of the circle, top with 1-2 teaspoons of apricot jam, and then fold in half. Seal the edges down with a fork and place on the lined baking sheet.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken empanadas are a golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and allow to slightly cool before serving.

Chicken Empanadas
For the filling

In a bowl mix together the chicken, peanut butter, goat cheese, salt, and pepper.

Cook’s Notes

* Amount of filling will depend on size of circle cutter used. Just make sure you can seal the outer edges without the filling leaking out of the sides.

** To add a bit of a sheen to the finished chicken empanadas, brush with an egg wash before baking.

Kris Drewry is a freelance host on several nationally broadcast networks. Her first book, Breakup Positive, was published in February 2018.