Chipotle Sweet Potato & Chicken Empanadas

**Note: This recipe is made with a food processor**

So yes, I admit, I’ve been slacking hard with the blog.  I try to get out two recipes a week and I’ve just been so busy with my other photography job (wedding, family, engagement), combined with feeling a bit under the weather, and losing my hubby hand model now that he’s back teaching every day and I’ve slacked.  But we’re back at it again!  With all the rainy weather this week (stay safe everyone who might be impacted on the East Coast by the hurricane!), I’ve wanted nothing but comfort foods.  Lots and lots of comfort food.

The nice thing about this recipe is that it’s a great ‘leftover’ recipe if you’ve had, say a rotisserie chicken and some baked sweet potatoes for dinner the night before (hint, hint, nudge, nudge)!  This is packed with flavor, a little spicy, and just tastes like comfort food.  I use pre-made pie dough, but if you’re feeling frisky, feel free to make your own!  And really, these are super simple, you put everything in the food processor, add in some cheese, and voila! Great empanada filling! Since the dough is already made for you, it’s just a matter of cutting some circles and stuffing them with filling!  The hardest thing about this recipe is waiting for them to finish baking in the oven!

A few tips and tricks for this recipe: Make sure that the pie crust is room temp, otherwise it will crack (20-30 seconds in the microwave will also help this).  These empanadas can be made as big or as small as you like.  I used a pyrex snack bowl so these are about half the size of my palm and I got about 20 total, but you can easily make these little app size with the top of a glass or a huge empanada with a serving bowl. To cut down on spice, make sure to deseed both the jalapeno and the chipotle pepper! So grab your food processor and let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups of cooked boneless chicken (rotisserie works great)
  • 1 large cooked sweet potato (you’ll remove skin)
  • 1 small red onion (peeled and quartered)
  • 1 small jalapeno (deseeded)
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce + 1 T of adobo sauce from can (for less heat, don’t add as much sauce)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 oz cream cheese (1/2 of a block)
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1/2 T paprika
  • 1/2 T cumin
  • 1/2 T black pepper
  • 1/2 T salt (add more/less to taste)
  • 2 boxes of pre-made rolled pie crust (each pack as two pie crusts, make sure to get the rolled kind and not the kind already in a pan)
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large food processor (if yours is smaller, you might have to do this in batches), add in everything except pie crust and egg.  If your food processor is small, do the veggies first, empty into a bowl, then process chicken and cheeses.  Mix until evenly combined.  Process until everything is well chopped up and combined.  You will most likely have to stop in between and scrape down sides to ensure even chopping.  Roll out pie crusts and use a circular bowl to cut around to for pie dough circles.  Place chicken mixture into the center (you want to make sure you don’t put too much in or it will squeeze out the sides), fold over pie crust and either use a fork to press together the seams or use your fingers.  Both work and are shown below.  You should be able to get about 20 total; a little tip is I re-roll all the scrap dough at the end to get about 4 more. Once all the empanadas are folded and sealed, crack and beat egg and then brush egg over each empanada.  Place in oven on middle rack and bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and serve immediately.  Enjoy!

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