I learned this recipe from one of our teachers when we had a wine school in China! Marcus (our teacher) came for a visit to see our school in Denver.
While he was here he stayed with Claude and I at our house for a month. Getting to know him was quite interesting. When he first arrived he told me, before going to bed, that there were two things he “required” while he was visiting! I was shocked! No one has ever ventured into my home and told me that they “required” something from me! So of course I asked what it might be. He said “bacons (bacon) and coffee”! Now I was doubly shocked! I asked him if he could get bacon in China. He said yes but it cost $1 per slice!!! Luckily for Marcus I had just smoked 75 lbs of bacon and had plenty. He ate about 15 lbs in 30 days and assured me he was not going to have a heart attack from it because he was taking the cholesterol lowering drug Lipator!!! I was worried for him!
Each morning I would get up at 5am to make a big pot of coffee and fry 15 slices of bacon. Marcus would arrive for breakfast and politely wait to see that everyone got some bacon. We each took a slice leaving about 12 slices of bacon on the plate. Marcus would then eat around 6 or so slices with breakfast and pack the remaining slices into a plastic storage bag and leave for school! About 11am each morning he was in class he would have his “bacon” snack!
I have to say my house smelled like “bacons” for about 45 days after he left. That smell was in the carpet, the sofa, the towels in the bathroom and in my winter coat. I could not stand the smell of bacon for quite a while after that!
One night Marcus decided he wanted to cook dinner for us and asked us if we liked curry. I told him yes as long as it wasn’t off the chart in terms of “heat”. This recipe is very similar in taste to the dish that he created for us. It has a great combination of yellow curry, coconut milk, onions and roasted chicken and the empanada dough is really nice.
It is flaky, yet strong enough to hold the juicy filling without falling apart. It is a super easy dough to make and work with unlike some of the gluten-free dough recipes we have previously posted which are delicious but a little challenging to handle.
You can make these and put them in the freezer then just heat them up either in the oven or the microwave for a fast easy dinner or lunch.
Curried Chicken Empanada's
4 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless, cut into bite sized pieces
2 T mild chili powder
2 T mild yellow curry powder
1 T coconut sugar
1 T paprika
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 onions, diced fine
2 tomates, roughly chopped
1/2 c cilantro, chopped fine
2 T oil
1 bay leaf
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and 1/4 inch diced
1 c coconut milk
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
2 T milk
Mix the above ingredients together until well blended. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the empanada’s before they go into the oven.
Heat oil in a large pot and sauté the onions and garlic for 1 minute. Add the chicken and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes until the chicken has been seared on all sides. Add all the spices and mix together. Add the remaining ingredients and cook until the chicken and potatoes are tender.
Set aside and let cool.
2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c lard or vegetable shortening
2 1/2 T unsalted butter cut in small pieces
1/2 c ice water
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the flour, lard, salt and butter in a food processor bowl fitted with the metal blade.
Pulse the mixture until the fat is evenly distributed in small chunks. Add 1/4 c ice water while the motor is running. One tablespoon at a time continue to add the ice water till the dough forms a loose ball.
Remove the dough from the bowl. Knead a few times on a lightly floured board. Form the dough into a disk and put in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to rest.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured board to 1/8 inch thickness. With a cookie cutter cut the dough into 3 inch circles.
Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of each pastry circle. Fold over and press the edges together with a fork to seal.
Bake on a cookie sheet lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment. Brush the empanada’s with 1 lightly beaten egg that with 2 tablespoons of milk.
Place baking sheet in the center of the oven and bake the empanada’s until golden. This will take about 12-15 minutes.
You can also sprinkle a little paprika on the empanada’s before baking if you would like some additional color.