Turkey empanada

Empanada is a mini pie. Actually, it’s more like the Italian calzone but the crust is flaky and sweet just like those of pastries. Based on the name itself, empanadas must have found their way to the Philippines via Spain. If you search the web, you will find that a lot of former Spanish colonies have their own versions of empanada–Mexico, Puerto Rico, Chile, Peru…

In the Philippines, empanadas are traditionally deep fried. If you’ve been a long time reader of my food blog, you would know about my aversion to frying because I loathe cleaning up oil spatters. And I really don’t like greasy dough. I like my empanada crust flaky and the filling moist but I don’t like my hands getting greasy from eating them. So, I bake my empanadas. I have always baked my empanadas from the day I learned to make them.

The most popular empanada filling in the Philippines is chicken. A rather far second is pork. While regional cuisines have their own unique versions of empanada (like the Ilocano version–deep-fried with orange-tinted crust), as far as I know, Empanada Royale, with stalls in most shopping malls, was the first commercial empanada outlet that went beyond the usual chicken or pork filling. Empanada Royale introduced varieties that include tuna, ham and cheese, beef, pizza…

Yesterday, I made some turkey empanadas. There were turkey choice cuts in the supermarket and there was this tray of turkey thighs that I thought would just be perfect for a batch of empanada.

filling for turkey empanadaunbaked turkey empanada

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