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Spicy Chicken Empanada

Empanada Gallega

There are many methods and combinations of ingredients used to make masa de empanada, the dough for covered pies. This version is from Galicia in north-west Spain - in other regions, such pies are called pasteles.

ingredients

makes 8 slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500 g skinless chicken breast, cut into 2.5 cm pieces
4 tablespoons dry white wine
3 tomatoes, skinned and chopped, reserving any juices
125 g chorizo, cut into thick slices
about 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
1/2 teaspoon hot paprika (pimenton picante)
4 roasted red piquillo peppers, from a jar, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
4 hard-boiled eggs, shelled
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

pastry

450 g plain flour, plus extra for kneading
75 g fine cornmeal
1 sachet fast-action dried yeast
11/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
3 tablespoons butter or lard
200 ml milk
2 eggs
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for glazing
a baking tin with shallow sides, 32 x 22 cm, greased
kitchen foil (optional)

method

1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole, add the onion and garlic and fry over medium heat for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Increase the heat and stir in the chicken, moving it around until it turns opaque. Add the wine, the tomatoes and their juices and cook until the sauce starts to thicken and the chicken has almost cooked.

2. Stir in the chorizo, oregano and paprika and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and let the mixture cool completely.

3. To make the pastry, mix the flour, cornmeal, yeast and salt in a bowl. Put the butter and milk in a saucepan and heat until the butter has melted. When the milk has cooled a little to lukewarm, beat the 2 eggs in a bowl and stir in the milk.

4. Make a hollow in the flour and pour in the milk mixture. Mix with your hands to bring together into a ball. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and set aside in a warm place until almost doubled in size.

5. Cut the dough in half and cover one piece. Roll out the other piece to the size of the baking tin, leaving a 2 cm overhang all round. Put into the tin and press into the angles. Stir the peppers and parsley into the cold filling, then spoon it evenly over the dough. Cut the hard-boiled eggs in half lengthways and nestle them into the filling.

6. Roll out the rest of the dough to fit the tin and carefully drape over the top. Brush egg wash around the edges of the overhanging pastry. Bring the pastry overhang up over the top pastry and crimp a little to seal.

7. Brush all over with the remaining egg wash, make a few slits in the top with a knife or scissors and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C (350°F) Gas 4 for 30 minutes until golden and cooked (if over-browning, cover with foil).

8. Serve hot or cold, cut into squares.

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