We’ve got your perfect summer appetiser: chicken tikka & gin empanadas…

With summer fast approaching, we were looking to create a recipe that gin-lovers could easily carry along to weekend summer barbeques. For that, we turned to Hazel Rodrigues, the blogger behind One Life to Bake, who came up with the brilliant idea of mixing two of Britain’s favourite staples: gin and Indian cuisine…

An avid baker, she took her expertise and mixed pastry with savoury, comforting flavours. Just like the tomato soup recipe we shared for a warming lunch, the tomatoes marinate beautifully well with the gin to bring out the citrus notes.

Whilst the lengthy ingredient list may initially appear daunting, creating our chicken tikka & gin empanadas won’t take too much effort. And what’s more, their beauty and taste will leave guests coming back for seconds, so we’d recommend preparing a few batches…

Chicken Tikka & Gin EmpanadaChicken Tikka & Gin Empanadas

Makes 14

Ingredients

For Marination

  • 650 grams Chicken thigh fillet
  • 2-3tsp salt (adjust as per taste)
  • 2tsp Tandoori powder (optional) *
  • ½ Lemon – Lemon Juice
  • 2tsp Concentrated Tomato puree
  • 1 ½tsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 1tsp Olive Oil
  • 2tsp Harissa paste
  • 1 ½ Ginger Garlic paste
  • 2tbsp Natural Set Yoghurt
  • 75ml (3 tsp) Brockmans Gin

For Filling

  • 2 Brown Onions, medium-sized and thinly sliced
  • ½tsp Turmeric powder (optional)
  • ½ cup Coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • 2tsp Nigella seeds (optional)

For Dough

  • 2 x 320 g – Ready rolled shortcrust Pastry (JusRol works well…)

Method

  1. Measure and prepare the marination in a bowl and keep aside. *Note – Tandoori powder is readily available these days from supermarkets or continental shops. If you can’t find it, then you can leave this out.
  2. Cut the chicken thigh fillets into thumb-sized pieces and marinate them with the paste made in step 1 for a minimum of 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  3. Fry thinly sliced onions until golden brown and towards the end add ½tsp turmeric powder and sauté for half a minute more. If turmeric is not available, it is okay to leave this out. Once fried, set aside for later.
  4. Fry the marinated chicken on a really hot griddle pan until well done or alternatively roast it in the oven on 190 degrees for 30 to 40 mins or until cooked through. Take care not to overcook the chicken or else it will dry out as we need to use this inside the pastry case.
  5. Once the cooked chicken has cooled down, chop it up into tiny chunks for ease of filling later.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6).
  7. Unroll each pastry sheet, then use a 10cm circle cutter to cut out circles of pastry (alternatively you can also use a breakfast bowl). You should get 7 from each pastry sheet if you re-roll the trimmings.
  8. Spoon 1tbsp of chicken tikka chunks, some fried onions and chopped coriander leaves. Fold over one half of the pastry, and seal by pinching the edge with your fingers, until you have 14 empanadas. Take a fork and press down the edges to make a pattern. Arrange on a baking parchment-lined tray, brush the rest of the egg over and scatter with Nigella seeds (if you don’t have this handy then substitute with cumin seeds or leave it out).
  9. Bake the shaped empanadas for 20-25 minutes until golden and crisp. Serve with Sriracha sauce or hot garlic sauce of any kind.

Naturally, you’ll want to serve these alongside our refreshing Perfect Serve

Chicken Tikka & Gin Empanada