If “buffalo chicken” or even just “buffalo” is used to describe a food, I’m done. I must have it. If there is buffalo chicken dip at a social event, I instantly turn into Gollum and just want sit in the corner with my precious. My buffalo chicken dip is a football season staple, but I’ve been testing new ways to add more buffalo-ed foods in my life. Enter: the empanada.
This is a perfect dish for a crowd because it’s hand-held, containing your buffalo chicken inside deliciously flaky crust, rather than putting it into a dip bowl where every single person is guaranteed to spill it on your table and floor. Also while crumbling chips. Make a simple blue cheese or ranch sauce for dipping and you’re done. You win. Everyone will love you.
You start by making the filling, which can be several steps or super quick depending on how much you make from scratch. I seasoned and grilled two chicken breasts and then shredded the chicken. Also, how gross does buffalo chicken filling look? Absolutely sick. I made the dough using a double batch of this recipe. The resulting empanada is crispy and thin, perfect to balance out the oozy buffalo chicken filling. It’s really important to chill your buffalo chicken filling prior to assembling the empanadas – if you have the patience (which, sadly, I don’t), after you assemble the empanadas chill them again for another 10-ish minutes before baking. When I read other recipes, I view many instructions as optional; trust me on this one, putting warm filling into this dough is not an option.Here’s the absolute quickest way to pull these empanadas together:
- Buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it at home, then mix with the rest of the filling ingredients.
- Buy puff pastry or even better, frozen empanada dough already cut into disks if you can find it at your store (I can’t)
Recipe for dough found here.
Buffalo Chicken Empanadas
Crispy, flaky exterior, spicy buffalo chicken goodness with a kick of creamy blue cheese on the inside.
- For the Filling
- 2 large chicken breasts (roughly 1 lb chicken) cooked and shredded
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup blue cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
- 1/2 cup buffalo sauce
- For the Dough
- 6 cups flour
- 1 to 1.5 tsp salt
- 12 oz unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup to 1 cup of milk, start with 1/2 and add more as needed to achieve a smooth dough
Assemble the Filling:
In a medium to large mixing bowl, stir buffalo sauce into shredded chicken until combined.
In a small bowl, stir softened cream cheese until smoooth, then mix in the blue cheese and cheddar cheese
Mix the cheese paste into the larger bowl of chicken until fully combined into a thick, horrendous looking (but super delicious!) paste.
Make the dough:
Put the flour and salt in your food processor, then pulse in the butter until dough is crumbly with pea-sized chunks of butter.
Add the egg, then begin to add the milk slowly using the Pulse setting.
Split the dough into two or more batches, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Roll dough out until it is thin and even, then cut into circles.
The proportion of filling to dough in this recipe is still a work in progress - depending on the size of disk you cut for the empanadas. Using these measurements I made 32 disks with a bunch of leftover dough scraps, but that was the right number to use up the filling. Worst case scenario: you have leftover filling. Heat it for buffalo chicken dip, spread it on grilled cheese, eat it on toast, etc. Pick a size disk that you feel comfortable stuffing/sealing. If the disks are too small and you are not experienced at stuffing dough (me), it will tear or leak. Make sure to keep an eye on bake time if you use a much larger disk, I'd suggest reducing the oven temp to 375 to allow a longer bake. Smaller disks can be baked at 400 for 20+ minutes, mine needed a full 30 minutes at 400 for the dough to be fully cooked on the interior.