Venezuelan Spicy Chicken Empanadas are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and a finger licking spicy chicken filling that’s sure to call for more than just one empanada!! And 100% gluten free too!!
This classic Venezuelan street food is great as a lunch snack and if made smaller perfect as canapes for any party. Plus they can be made one day in advance if you follow just a few simple steps I jot down below.
Vegetarian, vegan or meatarean? Not a problem! These can be made with any filling you like, they are super versatile!! For this recipe though I chose to make them with this yummy spicy chicken filling super easy to make.
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These empanadas are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and a finger licking spicy chicken filling. This classic Venezuelan street food is great as a lunch snack and if made smaller perfect as canapes for any party. Plus they can be made one day in advance if you follow just a few simple steps I jot down below. They can also be made with vegetarian and vegan fillings they are super versatile!!
- 250 gr Minced Chicken Pork or Beef are also good
- 1 tsp Ground cumin
- 1 tsp Dried oregano
- 1 tsp Dried garlic powder
- 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
- Salt & black pepper to taste
- 3 tbsp Vegetable oil Plus more for frying
- 1 small White onion
- 1/2 Green sweet pepper
- 1/2 Red sweet pepper
- 2 Garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp Tomato pure
- 1 large tbsp Sirracha sauce Add more for a spicer chicken mix
- 1/2 glass of water or stock (any type will do)
So the first thing is to prepare the spicy chicken filling. In a bowl place the meat and add the spices and mix
To a hot skillet add vegetable oil add chopped onions, peppers and chopped garlic and leave to cook until they start to soften.
Once the veggies have started to soften add the mince chicken and cook stirring occasionally.
TIP: Once the chicken is half way cooked I like to break up the meat pieces with the spoon so the fillings ends up with nice small pieces.
Then add the tomato pure, Sirracha sauce and half a glass of water or stock (any type will do) and leave to cook for approx. 20 minutes.
Once cooked add the meat to a bowl and leave to cool
Then using some kitchen paper I like to clean the skillet to then use it for frying the empanadas. If I can avoid doing more washing up all the better!!
While the chicken is cooling down lets prepare the dough using the classic white corn Harina Pan following the package Instructions.
In the blog post of this recipe you’ll find details on where to buy this flour in the UK, Europe and USA.
Once the dough is done we start to make the empanadas and this might look fitly but really is very easy!
Place some cling film on a flat surface and spread over some vegetable oil, do the same to a plate. This will make it easier to lift the empanadas without sticking.
Then take a ball of dough, place it over the cling film and flatten it out until is 1/2cm thick. It helps to have a container with water to wet your fingers so the dough doesn’t stick.
Add 1.5 tbp of the chicken filling and fold using the cling film to help you.
Using a soup bowl cut the edges of the empanada so it's sealed completely and leaves a nice border.
TIP: You can also make them canape size by using a drinking glass instead of a soup ball.
Remove the remaining of the dough and repeat the same process until you’ve used all of the dough. From this amount of dough you’ll get 9 large empanadas.
Then fry them on each side in a skillet with abundant hot vegetable oil they are until golden brown on each side.
TIP: Carefully grab each empanada so it doesn’t break. Ideally you want the dough to be slightly hard so it holds better the filling and handling.
Once cooked place them over some kitchen paper to absorb the extra oil and serve immediately!!
- Once the chicken is half way cooked I like to break up the meat pieces with the spoon so the fillings ends up with nice small pieces.
- You can also make them canape size by using a drinking glass instead of a soup ball.
- Carefully grab each empanada so it doesn’t break. Ideally you want the dough to be slightly hard so it holds better the filling and handling.
OTHER EMPANADA FILLINGS
These empanadas can be made with any filling you like, apart from potatoes or rice. The dough really works with any flavour whether strong or mild making them perfect as snacks, canapes or like me as a light lunch or diner.
In Venezuela we have several traditional fillings that range from meat to vegetarian options, some of these fillings I have already posted in this blog but I’ll break them out into vegetarian, vegan and meat fillings.
The tuna filling is very to make just finely chop a small onion, 1/2 a red pepper and 1/2 a green pepper mix well with one or 2 cans of well drained tuna, season with salt and black pepper to taste and voila! The onion and peppers will cook when the empanadas are fried.
The most traditional vegetarian fillings are:
- Black beans, white cheese and sweet fried plantains. The beans are really the left over of our traditional Venezuelan Black Bean Soup slightly drained so they are not saucy. And if you’ve never made Sweet Fried Plantain check out my tutorial on how to make them omitting the coriander and cheese.
- White cheese – Choose a strong flavour white cheese something like Feta or Halloumi.
- Roasted vegetables also work well
- Giving them an Italian twist and one of husband’s favourite filling tomato and Mozzarella. One thing to bear in mind with this filling is that they have to very well closed otherwise you’ll have Mozzarella pouring out whilst frying.
Again using black beans without the cheese is also a traditional filling, some people also like to fill them with only sweet fried plantain including me!
Grilled pepper and grilled onions are quite a flavoursome mix that work very well with the dough, sometime I add vegan cheese to have that gooey cheesy effect.
Mushroom trifolati are also good. Just cook some chopped mushrooms with onions, a pinch of chilli flakes, red wine, salt, black pepper and a pinch of chopped fresh rosemary, an Italian vibe but equally delicious.
MAKE VENEZUELAN SPICY CHICKEN EMPANADAS IN ADVANCE
These Venezuelan Spicy Chicken Empanadas can be made in advance if you’re cooking for a party just follow these simple steps:
- Once made but still raw place them on a flat baking sheet or tray that has been covered with cling film and a bit of oil, similar to the cling film job we did to make them.
- Once all the empanadas are on the tray cover them with another pieces of cling film so they are well wrapped.
- Cover the tray with a damp tea towel, not wet, but slightly damp and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to fry them.
When I have to make them in advance I try to use dry fillings, ie. fillings with little or no sauce this is to avoid sauces licking into the dough and coming out.
A good tip to remember is to scoop out as much sauce as you can from the filling or use dry fillings ie. with little sauce. If you have some sauce licking out is not the end of the world, the problem is when you have a lot of sauce as this will dissolve the dough and make it impossible to handle.
WHERE TO BUY HARINA PAN
In the UK Tesco has started to stock HARINA P.AN. which is a big big plus because it was very difficult to get hold of it before. They call it Pan Pre-Cooked White Maize Meal 1Kg and sell it for £1.99, cheaper than anywhere else!!
Also if you’re in London there are several Latin American shops around Elephant & Castle that not only sells Harina Pan, but also more Latin American goodies.
In Italy you can also get it quite easily. Supermarket Carrefour stocks it in its shops, but mainly in the North of Italy.
There is also a company Called Le Farine Magiche that buys the product itself from Empresas Polar and packages in their own bags, they call it Farina per pane Arepas e Polenta and they sell it for €3.76.
Made these Venezuelan Spicy Chicken Empanadas? Rate it and leave your comment! I really like to know what you guys think of the recipes and I can only do that if you leave your reviews and comments.
See you next time with another delicious recipe
HAPPY COOKING!! 🙂