Poblano Chicken Empanadas {She Made/Ella Hace}

Today is one of those food holidays that I just couldn't let slip by unnoticed.  That's why I suggested to Girlichef that we celebrate this special holiday for She Made/Ella Hace this month.  In case you didn't know, today is Empanada Day!  Now, isn't that the kind of holiday that you could really get behind. Since Girlichef and I already shared a sweet empanada recipe with all of you a couple of months ago, I also suggested that we make savory empanadas.  

And since this month in my cocina is going to be dedicated to Kids' Favorite Recipes (because April is Children's Month in Mexico), I thought I'd start the celebration by sharing my 15 year old daughter's favorite savory empanadas, which also happen to be made with what I believe to be one of the best flavor combinations ever...chicken, corn & roasted poblano peppers.  (Swoon!)

The empanada crust is buttery, crisp and flaky.  And the filling is creamy and cheesy, with just a hint of spice from the roasted poblano peppers.  I like these Poblano Chicken Empanadas as is, but Hope (my daughter) thinks they're best when dipped in Mexican crema!

Poblano Chicken Empanadas

  • 2 c. flour 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup cold butter
  • 4 tablespoons ice water
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small can golden corn kernels, drained
  • 1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 6 oz. asadero or Oaxaca cheese, cut in 1-inch cubes
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

For the empanada dough: In a large bowl combine the flour and salt.  Using a potato masher, cut in the butter until the flour turns a golden yellow color and the butter pieces are no larger than a pea.  Stir in enough cold water, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together and forms a ball.  Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  

For the filling: 
Roast the poblano peppers on a comal or over an open flame, until the skin has charred evenly all over.  Place in a plastic bag and let set for about 10 minutes.  (This allows the chilies to sweat, making them easier to peel.)  Peel off the charred skin from the roasted peppers and remove the seeds.  Chop the poblano peppers into bite-size pieces.   

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over high heat.  Add the onion and saute until transluscent, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the chicken and saute until the chicken is no longer pink.  Stir in the poblano peppers, corn kernels, and Mexican crema.  Cover skillet and reduce heat to low.  Let simmer for about 15 minutes until the chicken pieces are tender.   Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.  Stir in cheese cubes. 

Preheat oven to 350F.  Roll out the empanada dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness.  Using a large square cookie cutter or sharp paring knife, cut the dough into 4 to 6-inch squares.  (The bigger the squares, the bigger the empanada.)  Spoon desired amount of filling into the center of each square of dough.  Lightly moisten the edges of the dough with water.  Fold the empanada dough diagonally over the filling to form triangles.  Press edges to seal.  Transfer the empanadas to a generously greased baking sheet.  Brush the tops of the empanadas with the beaten egg.  Pierce the center of each empanada once with a fork.  (This allows the steam to escape and prevents dough from puffing.)   

Bake the empanadas at 350F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Serve with Mexican crema.  Enjoy!!!

Now head on over to Girlichef's blog to wish her a Happy Empanada Day and to check out her Empanadas de Picadillo.



  1. Oh my garsh - YES, I totally want a big pile of these alongside mine. They look and sound amazing. I'm with Hope...pass the crema!

  2. Thanks Leslie, had a chicken leftover that I cleaned the carcass on, this will make perfect lunch on Wednesday!

  3. Just found your blog through girlichef and I must day that your emapanadas looks awesome, too! I love the filling and they look so crispy and delicious.

  4. These look so good! I had never tried poblanos till a few years ago. Now it is my favorite spicy pepper!

  5. I did not know empanadas had their own day. They totally deserve it.

  6. Okay, I slaved in the kitchen with my mom tonight and we made a triple batch because 4 empanadas just wasn't going to cut it for us and I didn't know how many the recipe really made. Learning points: 100% whole wheat flour still came out tasty but it was difficult to roll out so next time we'll go half and half. Mom thinks your 1/4" inch thickness has to be a typo because the girls asked us if we were making cookies when the dough was that thick so we went closer to an 1/8" thickness (I measured). Hubby gave it a 9.5 stars so that's a miracle. Next time I want to add some shredded up carrots and zucchini to give it more color and taste.