Thursday, August 10, 2006

Empanadas Filled with Spicy Chicken

This recipe comes from Janet Mendel's Cooking from the Heart of Spain, which is full of recipes from the La Mancha region of Spain. There are some recipes in this book that have me drooling just from reading them (sadly, no gorgeous food porn pictures in this book). I'll almost certainly be trying out other recipes from this book over the next few weeks.

Tonight's recipe was one for empanadas. It's not exactly a low-maintenance recipe, but was well worth some extra effort... I even roasted my own pepper, which is something that I love doing. The results were fantastic. The filling has a really wonderful flavor from the oregano, cumin, and roasted pepper, and the pastry comes out light and flaky. I had one right out of the oven, and didn't even care that I burned my mouth; they're that good.

Things I will do differently next time:
  • Refrigerate the dough. The recipe specifically says to leave the dough at room temperature for the entire time it rests, but this made the dough very sticky and difficult to work with. I will say that the finished product is light and flaky, but refrigerating the dough would keep even more of the butter from melting before the dough is baked... which should yield something even flakier.

  • Not go quite as light on the cayenne pepper. I usually like hot, spicy food, but this was the first time I made this and I didn't want cayenne to end up as the main flavor. However, the filling is substantial enough that it could hold up to more heat.

  • Not drop my open flour container on the floor.
(I did have the recipe posted here, but I removed it, because I don't want to go against anyone's copyright.)

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