Peruvian Chicken Empanadas and plenty of left overs
Updated: Jul 16, 2020
I love left overs. I often start the week with cooking something big on Sunday and work it into the menu for the week. Here is a variation of Peruvian Chicken I have made times from a recipe from Epicurious and the leftovers are heavenly in empanadas.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Mix 3 mined garlic gloves, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 tsp. salt, and finely grated zest from 1 lemon in a medium bowl. Quarter zested lemon; set aside 2 quarters. Squeeze juice from 1 whole lemon and remaining 2 quarters to yield 2 Tbsp. juice; stir into spice mixture.
Place chicken breast side down on work surface. Spatchcock chicken by cutting along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears. Remove backbone; reserve for stock. Turn chicken breast side up and splay open. Press down on breastbone with palms until you hear it crack and chicken is as flat as possible. Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Rub chicken all over with 2 reserved lemon quarters. Squeeze juice over bird, then rub skin all over with inside of rinds.
From both edges of cavity, loosen skin from breasts and thighs, being careful not to tear skin. Using your fingers, gently spread 2 heaping Tbsp. spice mixture under skin (reserve remaining spice mixture), then season chicken all over with remaining 1 tsp. salt. Transfer chicken, spread flat and skin side up, to a roasting pan or large skillet.
Roast chicken 20 minutes, then brush with spice mixture and pan juices. Continue roasting, basting with spice mixture and juices every 20 minutes, until juices run clear when thigh is pierced with a fork or an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165ºF, 50-60 minutes total.
Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 15 minutes, reserving pan juices.
If you do not use up the entire chicken in one dinner, loosen all left over meat from the bone. Sauté one small onion, one medium sized bell pepper (green or whatever you have), one jalapeño, in the pan juices, that were leftover from roasting the chicken. Add 1/4 cup of quinoa. Squeeze in one lime. Once the veggies are soft add meat and taste with salt and pepper. Let cool and use as stuffing for empanadas.
I also have made chicken salad with the left overs. Just use the small cut meat (about a cup) and add some mayo, salt, pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of tarragon, grapes and some walnuts.