Shredded chicken + cheese + spices all wrapped up in a flaky shell–you can’t go wrong with these tasty Cheesy Chicken Empanadas!
Life has a funny way of keeping you on your toes. Just when you think you’ve figured it all out, life comes along to mix it all up again. As you guys know, our son (first child!) was born back in November. We’ve spent the last couple of months adjusting to our new schedule, and I think we’ve managed pretty well. Sure, there have been some sleepless nights. And I may or may not have Googled how to change a diaper. But all in all, I think we’ve managed pretty well.
And then this week Mom went back to work. It’s been awesome having her around to help with the baby. But it’s time to transition to the next phase. After visiting several daycare centers in our town, we found one that we really, really liked, so we decided to take Robbie to day care a couple of days a week. But Dad (i.e. me) will need to step up his game a bit here, too. I’m ready for this!
All of this Dad talk has made me think back to the classic “Dad-isms” from my own childhood. There was the “I will turn this car around” warning that always seemed to follow after my sister touched my side of the back seat. (Of course, the car was never actually turned around…but the threat was enough.) #IWillTurnThisCarAround
Oh, and how could I possible leave out the “You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin'”? That’s when you knew you better “Shape Up or Ship Out.” Of course, I was a stubborn kid, so I usually ended up on the shipped out side of things. But I turned out ok, right, Dad? #CruisinForABruisin
And when all else failed, there was always “Go Ask Your Mom.” Talk about a cop-out. “Go Ask Your Mom” is just Dadspeak for “No.” But as a kid, it meant “Yes” as long as I could convince Mom. And Mom was a lot easier to convince than Dad. #GoAskYourMom
While we’re at it, let’s hit a few other favorite Dadisms. There was “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” (Man, wouldn’t it be nice if it did?) And “If I told you to jump off a cliff, would you?” (Well, it depends if there is a pool beneath that cliff, Dad…) Or “Stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.” (You’re going to take away my Nintendo? Noooo….) And who can forget “We used to walk uphill both ways to school. In the snow.” (My Dad grew up in Texas. It didn’t snow, and the land is flatter than a pancake out there.)
While this Dadspeak is downright funny to think about, these sayings are also some of my favorite memories of childhood. I mean you gotta love “I will turn this car around.” No childhood is complete without that one. So as I continue my journey into Dadhood, I’ll need to make sure to sprinkle these sayings in there occasionally. After all, I want to make sure Robbie has good memories of his childhood!
A couple of days ago, I decided to hop in the kitchen and make us something fun for dinner. After a little bit of internal debate, I landed on empanadas. We didn’t have any ground beef in the fridge, but I did find some canned chicken in the pantry. Done. Cheesy Chicken Empanadas for dinner tonight! There’s something so appealing about empanadas. They’re hand-held and packed with a delicious filling!
I fully recognize that these Cheesy Chicken Empanadas don’t have much to do with classic Dadisms, but you know what…this Dad is all about delicious food, so there. Enjoy!
What were your favorite Dadisms growing up?
What is your favorite empanada filling? I’m feeling another empanada night soon…
Cheesy Chicken Empanadas
For the Dough
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
For the Filling
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 poblano pepper diced
- 1 medium white onion diced
- 1 tsp garlic minced
- 2 cups canned chicken rinsed and shredded with 2 forks
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup monterrey jack cheese shredded
- 1 egg beaten
For the Dough
- Using a medium bowl, add flour, salt and chili powder; stir until well combined.
- Add cubed butter and blend with a dough cutter (or two table knives) until mixture resembles a coarse meal.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, water and vinegar. Pour liquid mixture into dry mixture; toss with a fork until just combined.
- Turn mixture out onto floured surface and fold 2-3 times. Shape dough into a rectangle, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
For the Filling
- Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Once melted, add diced poblano and onion. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onion begins to soften. Add garlic, stir and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in shredded chicken, cumin, paprika and cheese; set mixture aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Divide dough into 12 equal pieces (~1½ ounces each). On a floured surface, roll each piece of dough into a 5” disc.
- Divide filling evenly between the discs. Top each with shredded cheese. (Tip: Place filling and cheese in center of discs.)
- Brush edges of the discs lightly with egg. Fold discs over and use a fork to seal edges. Brush tops of empanadas with remaining egg. Place empanadas on a parchment-lined sheet pan.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until golden brown in color.