The secret to whipping out these deliciously cheesy chicken- and potato-filled pockets for your next game night or tailgate? Frozen, pre-cut empanada wrappers. The recipe comes from Minnesota chef and author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard.

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Ingredients

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook for 1 minute or until softened. Add tomato sauce, ancho pepper, salt, vinegar, marjoram, oregano, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Gradually stir the chicken, then hash browns, then cheese; blend well with folding strokes using a rubber spatula.

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  • To fill: For 6-inch wrappers, put 1¿½ tablespoons filling in the center of each dough circle; use 1 tablespoon for 5-inch wrappers. Carefully pick up dough and place it in the palm of one hand. Working quickly, dampen the edge of the dough with water, then gently fold and enclose the stuffing, pressing edges together to seal. Crimp with a fork (that’s the easy way), or try the rope technique: Work your way around the empanada, folding and pinching for a pleated look. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. Place all empanadas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush empanadas with the egg wash mixture, then sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds.

  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes turning the baking sheet halfway through for even baking. When done, the dough changes from opaque to shiny and medium brown. Allow the empanadas to cool slightly before eating.

Shopping Tip

Frozen empanada dough is available at major grocery stores and Latin markets. They come in packages of 12 or more. This dough is light and flaky when baked. Puff pastry may also be used. Roll sheets of pastry into 9x9" squares and cut into 3x3" squares. Fill with 1 tablespoon chicken mixture, fold in half to make triangles, and press edges with a fork to seal.

Make Ahead

Empanadas can be made the previous day and saved in the refrigerator covered with plastic. To ensure freshness, add egg wash and seeds of choice right before baking. Alternatively, bake empanadas and freeze in an airtight container up to 1 month. To reheat, bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts

179 calories; 7 g total fat; 17 mg cholesterol; 234 mg sodium. 23 g carbohydrates; 7 g protein;

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