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Wingin’ It: Buffalo Chicken Empanadas for Bills vs. Rams

Pockets of buffalo chicken deliciousness? You had me at “Wingin’ It!”

Where there’s football, there’s food. There are many great options in the category of “traditional fare” but you might be in the mood for something different. Wingin’ It has you covered with a new Buffalo sauce-inspired recipe every week of the Buffalo Bills’ season. Get ready to win big in your kitchen as the Bills get ready for the Los Angeles Rams!


Empanadas 1

When I was looking at empanadas ahead of the season it became apparent right away that this food item represents a broad diversity of backgrounds, which makes it a good fit for the second-largest city in the country. I also realized that when it comes to fillings nothing is off limits.

I’ll explain my choice at the bottom, because I want to dedicate the rest of this space to Stirs and Stripes who provided the assist on tackling this game-day dish. The Stirs and Stripes empanada recipe provides a more Buffalo flavor profile and can be found here (I won’t be offended if you use her recipe instead of mine). That recipe also cut down on my research time by linking back to an excellent dough recipe on Laylita.com.

Buffalo Chicken Empanadas

Serves: 6-8
Active Time: 30 min
Total Time: 2 hours

Ingredients

Filling
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb cooked chicken, shredded or diced*
1-2 cans diced tomatoes (14 oz each), drained
12 cup sliced green olives
14 cup hot sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
12 tsp oregano
12 tsp cumin
1 tsp honey
2 oz cheddar cheese, shredded or cut into small squares

Directions

  1. Make filling: Melt butter in large saute pan on MED heat.
  2. Add chicken, tomatoes, and green olives to pan and stir for 1 min.
  3. Stir in the rest of the ingredients EXCEPT the cheese, which will go in later.
  4. Increase heat to MED/HIGH, stirring frequently until the “gravy” starts to thicken; remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Prepare empanadas: Make dough according to the recipe above**. (Total time to prepare dough—including prep, cook, and rest time—is 1 hour 15 min.)
  6. Once dough is ready to work with, preheat oven to 375ºF.
  7. Roll dough thinly, less than 14” . You can make small spheres and roll each into circles, or roll a big sheet and cut into circles***.
  8. Add filling: For a roughly average size filled empanada, place about one heaping tablespoon of filling in each circle; add a small amount of cheese into each empanada.
  9. Fold the dough circle over the filling and pinch shut.
  10. Place the empanadas on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake 25-30 min or until golden brown. Empanada size and filling ration may impact cooking time.

Wingin’ It Tips

  • *Empanadas are often filled with leftovers so I’m saving me some steps by telling you to have some dang chicken cooked already.
  • **Stirs and Stripes’ Buffalo chicken filling required a double batch. My filling worked with a single. You can chill it to make it a little easier to work with but you don’t have to.
  • ***Don’t stress out over circle size or making them perfectly round unless you’re planning on photographing them for an article or blog. If you can get filling in and seal it then you’ve done it right. If you clicked through to the dough recipe there’s good advice on sealing them

BONUS thing! Why not a more traditional Buffalo flavor?

Empanadas

First and foremost, it was already done. Stirs and Stripes’ recipe already has it covered and if that’s what you’re in the mood for, that should do it for you. With a good recipe out there already that meant I got to play mad scientist in the kitchen. I elected to revisit my ropa vieja flavor profile from last year as it was one of my favorites, but make it more accessible. Much of the spice profile and green olives borrows from that. The honey and cheese additions cut down on acidity and provide a more balanced result.