Turkey or Chicken and Bell Pepper Empanada

Turkey or Chicken and Bell Pepper Empanada

A recipe from The Book of Tapas

Makes: 1 empanada


1 quantity pastry

14oz (400g) chicken or turkey breast (raw or cooked)

4 bottled or canned roasted red bell peppers, chopped

1 quantity tomato sauce, bottled or homemade, to serve

1 egg, lightly beaten

For the pastry dough:

1¾ cups (200g/7oz) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting

⅔ cup (120g/4oz) lard, softened

½ cup (120g/4oz) margarine, softened

juice of 1 lemon, strained

1 egg, lightly beaten


For the tomato sauce:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped (optional)

2¼ lb (1 kg) ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1 teaspoon sugar



For the pastry dough:

Sift together the flour and a pinch of salt into a mound on a marble slab. Dot with the lard and margarine and mix lightly with a knife, then add the lemon juice and a little water (the amount depends on the type of flour, but never very much) and bring together with your fingers.

Briefly knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface, then roll out into a rectangle. Fold each of the short sides of the dough into the middle. Let rest for 15 minutes.

Turn the dough 90° and roll out into a rectangle again. Fold each of the short sides of the dough into the middle and let rest for 15 minutes.

Repeat this procedure of turning the dough a quarter turn, rolling out and folding three times, leaving it to rest for 15 minutes each time.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap (clingfilm) and let rest in a cool place for at least 2 hours or overnight.

For the tomato sauce:

Heat the oil in a skillet or frying pan. Add the onion, if using, and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. (If you’re not using the onion, add the tomato immediately.)

Add the tomatoes and cook over low heat, breaking the flesh up with the edge of a skimmer or slotted spoon, for about 15 minutes.

Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and process. Add the sugar, season to taste with salt and process briefly again. Set aside and keep warm.

For the empanada:

Preheat the oven to 425ºf (220ºc/gas mark 7).

Heat a little oil in a skillet and add the chicken if not using left over chicken or turkey. Cook for 10 minutes, or until cooked through.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a large circle. Spread the tomato sauce over the dough and scatter over the cooked chicken or turkey.

Top with a layer of bell peppers. Fold one side of the dough over the filling.

Brush with the beaten egg and bake for about 30 minutes, until puffed up and golden brown.