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Robert St. John

Restaurateur, author, enthusiastic traveler, & world-class eater.

Chicken and Andouille Empanadas

There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe, but don’t let that discourage you from making these easy pastries. Measure out all ingredients ahead of time and your job will be much easier. Perfect if you have misjudged bulk-food quantities when hosting a party. Keep a batch in the freezer and when you’re the food starts running low, pop them in the oven.


2 Tbsp Bacon fat

1 /2 cup Andouille sausage, finely diced

1 /4 cup minced onion

1 /2 tsp salt

1 /4 cup Green chilies, minced

1 Tbsp garlic, minced

1 /2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1 recipe cream cheese pastry

1 /4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 /4 tsp dry oregano

1 /4 tsp ground coriander

2 Tbsp tequila

1 /2 cup chicken, cooked and finely diced

2 tsp hot sauce

1 /4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated

1 /4 cup pepper-jack cheese, finely grated


In a medium sauté pan, heat bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add sausage and brown 4-5 minutes. Add onion and salt, and cook 3-4 minutes more, stirring often.

Add in the chilies, garlic and seasonings and cook two more minutes. Deglaze with tequila. Add diced chicken and allow the tequila to cook out of mixture. Remove from heat and cool in a mixing bowl.

Once the mixture is cool, fold in cheeses and hot sauce. Before forming the empanadas, refrigerate mixture 1-2 hours, or until firm.

Roll the cream cheese pastry out until paper thin. Cut pastry using a three-inch round cookie cutter. Place 1- 1 1 /2 tsp chicken filling in the center of each circle. Gently fold the circles in half and pinch edges together sealing the pastries. Chill the pastries for 30 minutes before baking.

Place pastries on a baking sheet in freezer until completely frozen. Once frozen, place in air-tight bags or containers to store.

To cook: Preheat oven to 350. Place pastries on paper lined baking sheet and brush with egg wash before. Bake 18-20 minutes.

Yields 40-45 pastries

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