Thursday, June 20, 2013

Lean Chicken Empanadas with Avacado Spread

Okay, seriously so easy..and awesome.  Make with some guacamole and your set!  You know how I feel about making things in my crock pot---so easy!!!!  I am one of those people who sometimes when I get home from work expect dinner to be already done, even though I am the one cooking it.   Don't be afraid of all of the steps, it's so easy--I just made it idiot proof.

Ingredients for Empanadas:  Servings--6
  1. Three large chicken breasts--about 1lb
  2. Mexican Everyday Green Chile Garlic Enchilada Packet
  3. Salt
  4. Pepper
  5. 6 wheat tortillas
  6. 1 can black beans
  7. 1 egg white
  8.  1/3 cup vegetable oil
  9. Avocado Spread (recipe to follow)
  10. Diced tomatoes and red onion if desired
I used the enchilada sauce I found in the Mexican cooking aisle, but you can use any. I really like garlic and green chilies so this one was a no brainer for me.   Also, I used Chilli's wheat tortilla, but you can use any you'd like. I am sure they'd be good with corn tortillas too!---I love corn torts.

  1. Spray crock pot with Pam or rub with oil to avoid sticking.
  2. Place three chicken breasts in crock pot side by side without overlapping if possible and sprinkle with a pinchie of salt of pepper, like so:
Okay, so a side note here--my brother last week wanted to know how to make chicken in the crock pot.  When I told him he told me he was going to trim the fat off to which I responded--NO!!!!
Let me give you reasons why:
1. The fat will decipate as the meat (pork, chicken breast, lamb) cooks on low, basting the chicken as it cooks and keeping it mositurized.
2. Cutting the fat off will cause the meat to come out dry like the Griswold's on Christmas Eve when they cut into their turkey. 
3. When you shred the meat there most likely won't be any fat left because it melted and basted the meat. If there is some, and it will be miniscule, you can remove it when you shred it. 

The lesson here is---NEVER REMOVE THE FAT UNTIL AFTER COOKING!!!  Funny cooking story--the first time I ever cooked for my family I made pork chops in the over and I cut all the fat off because it looked gross.  The pork chops, while still edible, came out like beef jerky you needed a saw to cut.  Everyone just chewed really hard and loudly while smiling at my 13 year old self.

Back to the directions:

3.  Pour enchilada sauce over the chicken.
Remember as the chicken cooks water will come out of it, so you don't want your sauce to end up too watery soooo try not to add water to it.
 4. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours (the time you may be at work!)
5. After 6-7 hours remove the lid and shred the chicken with tongs--that's the beauty of the fat being cooked with the meat, it will make the meat tender and just fall apart with a touch:
6. Let cook for 10 more minutes on low, stirring occasionally to really get the rest of that sauce left in the crock pot from cooking.
7. Turn off crock pot and take about 2-2 1/2 cups of chicken out and place in a separate bowl to cool. (use the rest for left overs for another meal!!)
8.  Open can of black beans and rinse in a strainer.
9. Dice tomatoes and red onions if you desire that in your Empanadas.  You can also add some low fat shredded cheese if you'd like too!
10. Crack egg, remove yolk, whisk well for 1-2 minutes.
11. Set up your work station:

14. cover a baking sheet with tin foil and set aside.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
15.  Begin stuffing your empanadas:  1/4 cup chicken, half handful of beans, half handful of tomatos, half handful of red onions, whatever else you want to add.  Just, don't over stuff.
That right there is just about enough.
16. Fold the right side up toward the left, covering the stuffing, like this:

Use egg whites to seal the edges shut. Hold down on the edges for 30 seconds pretty firmly so it doesn't come undone all loosey goosey like.
17.For the sides fold in the two corners like your wrapping a gift, like so:

18. Fold in both sides, sealing with egg whites as you go.  Then fold that entire side in:
19.  Continue by folding the other side closed. Place on baking sheet until all are completed.
20. Once all 6 are stuffed and closed heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil over high heat until it crackles--about 1-2 minutes.  Why vegetable oil?  Because it has a higher smoke point than extra virgin olive oil.  Every try to make cutlets with extra virgin olive oil?  You will just end up smoking up your house and setting off the fire alarm.  If you don't have vegetable oil then canola oil works as well.
The way to test to see if the oil is hot enough is to place one corner of the empanada in for 1-2 seconds.  When you remove it see if the oil starts to crackle. If so, it's hot enough.
21.  Place 2 empanadas at a time seam side down in the oil to flash fry for 1 minute.
22. After 1 minute flip to the other side for 30 seconds
24. After 30-45 seconds remove from oil and place on baking sheet.
25. Wait 20 seconds and add two more to the oil.  Why wait?  If you place them in right away the temperature of the oil has not risen back to high.  Every time you place something in oil it lowers the temperature of the oil. So wait a couple seconds or end up with soggy empanadas.  Where did I get all of this knowledge? I don't know.
26. When all 6 empanadas are done place them in the over for about 20 minutes.  Flipping half way though.
Let cool for 5-6 minutes before serving. THE INSIDES WILL BE SUPER HOT
Avocado Spread:
1. 1/4 cup fat free sour cream
2. 2 quirts lime juice
3. salt and pepper
4. One whole Avocado
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
3. Process for 2-3 minutes until well combined.

Serve with Empanadas.

Look, a took a bite out of mine to let some steam out: GENIUS!!!