Our friend Hector makes really good empanadas. An enthusiastic Hungry Fan supporter, Hector picked up both our Barbecue and Pumpkin Spice blends and came up with this tasty recipe. It’s made with yams and it’s yummy. It’s yammy.
These empanadas call for store-bought empanada discs because, let’s face it, that’s a heck of a lot easier than making them yourself. And on game day, we embrace easiness. But if you’re good at making empanada discs from scratch, please go ahead!
2 medium yams
¼ cup sour cream
½ teaspoon store-bought pumpkin spice blend
4 chicken thighs
1 (2-ounce) pouch store-bought barbecue rub
1 cup cayenne pepper hot sauce
½ cup honey
10 empanada discs
Avocado oil or vegetable oil, for frying
Fine sea salt, to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Prick the yams several times each with a fork and place them onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 40–60 minutes, or until tender.
Let the yams cool enough to handle, then remove the skin. Place the yam flesh into a mixing bowl and mash well with a fork or potato masher. Add sour cream and Pumpkin Spice Blend. Mix until incorporated.
Generously rub chicken thighs with some Barbecue Spice Blend.
Place the thighs into the refrigerator, covered, and allow them to marinate at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight).
In a bowl, combine the cayenne pepper sauce with the honey and another tablespoon of Barbecue Spice Blend. Place the chicken thighs into the mixture and toss to coat.
Transfer the now-coated chicken and the leftover sauce into a large skillet and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat. Flip the chicken over and cover the skillet. Simmer until the liquid has thickened. Remove from skillet.
Use a fork to shred the chicken. Combine the chicken and any sauce left in the skillet with the yam mixture and mix.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the chicken and yam mixture into the middle of an empanada disc. Fold the disc in half to form a halfmoon shape. Moisten the edges of the disc with water and pinch to seal closed, or seal with a fork.
Fill a deep saucepan with oil to a depth of 2 ½ inches. Heat the oil until hot (350 degrees F) over medium-high heat.
Cook the empanadas until golden brown, flipping once, for about 4–6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-covered plate to drain. Then, while still hot, sprinkle with sea salt to taste. Serve and enjoy!