Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sweet and Sour Chicken in Puff Pastry

To download a copy of the recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken in Puff Pastry, click HERE.

For a great combination of sweet and savory, it’s hard to beat a fresh-made sweet and sour sauce. Add it to your arsenal, and you’ll find it’s a flavor combination that’s perfect for a wide range of meals.

In this recipe, we’re using it in combination with chicken to make a delectable filling for empanadas made with puff pastry, another high-value kitchen workhorse.

Your family and guests are going to love this. And when you see how easy it is to made, you’ll be very happy yourself!  

Some Cook’s Notes before we begin.

  • This recipe is something of a departure from the reduced-fat recipes I usually post. While puff pastry is easy to use, has great flavor and texture, and is wonderfully versatile, its fat content is higher than I normally like to use. I’m currently looking into lower-fat alternatives; in the meantime, consider this a special treat recipe to be enjoyed occasionally.

  • The tasty sweet and sour sauce we make in this recipe is very simple to make. In addition to its use as a part of this recipe, you may want to keep it handy as a stand-alone recipe for use with everything from pork to shrimp to meatballs to…well, you get the idea.

This recipe makes 8 empanadas. That’s good for 6 – 8 servings.

First, we’ll cook the chicken.

Combine 1 lb. ground chicken; ½ medium onion, diced; ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce; ¾ tsp dried thyme; ½ tsp dried sage; 1 tsp salt; and ¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper in a pan and cook over medium heat until the chicken is browned. Be careful not to overcook the chicken; you don’t want it to get too dry. Transfer the browned meat mixture to a bowl and drain the fat.

To make the filling:

Put ½ cup packed brown sugar; 1 Tbsp corn starch; a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple in juice (not syrup); ½ cup cider vinegar; and 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce in the pan you used to cook the chicken. (When adding the pineapple, include the juice as well.)

Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Reduce the heat to a simmer, and add the browned chicken mixture back into the pan.

Simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add one small to medium green pepper, diced, to the pan. Cover, and simmer until tender, about five minutes. When done, set the filling aside to cool.

To form the empanadas and bake the pastry:

While the filling is cooling, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Place a puff pastry sheet (a 17 ounce package will have two) on a floured surface. Dust the puff pastry with a little flour.

Roll the puff pastry sheet to a square, 11” to 12” on each side.

Cut the rolled puff pastry sheet into four equal squares using a knife or baker’s blade.

Place some of the filling meat on the diagonal half of one of the squares. Brush some egg wash (one egg substitute egg mixed with a tablespoon of water) onto the edges around the filling.

Fold the other half of the square over the filling, pressing the edge with your finger.

Seal the edge with the tines of a fork dipped in flour.

Brush the sealed puff pastry with egg wash.

When all four squares have been filled and sealed, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicon baking pad.

Bake until puffed and golden, about 18-20 minutes. While the first batch is baking, use the remaining puff pastry sheet and filling to prepare the other four. When the first batch has finished baking, set them aside and baked the second batch.

Serve one (or, for big eaters, two) with a vegetable.

To download a copy of the recipe for Sweet and Sour Chicken in Puff Pastry, click HERE.

And remember: although we’ve made the puff pastry into empanadas large enough for one (or, for big eaters, two) to be a meal, making these smaller will give you fantastic hors d’oeuvres or appetizers for your next gathering!

Visit again next week for another tasty, home-cook friendly recipe! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. then there's always pierogi dough. i've wanted to play with détrempe (puff pastry dough) for some time now as i love making gyoza. it's on my agenda to try this recipe. :D

    1. Thanks, Grinelda! I've been ordering dumplings with Chinese take-out for years and never knew what they were called until you mentioned it. As for puff pastry, I would definitely recommend it. It makes almost anything you put in it taste great, and is so easy to work with. (Still working on a reduced fat version here; I'll let you know how that goes.)