If you read my Turkey Ramblings post, you would know how I approached cooking the turkey for this year’s Thanksgiving. I did say that it was very delicious and everyone just loved it. And believe me, it’s true! However, we were still left with some leftovers from that big bird. And now, the dilemma was what to do with the leftovers. We could simply eat it as it is, with the gravy and lingonberry jam. Still delicious! But, admit it, it’s not as exciting to eat it compared to when you eat it on Thanksgiving Day.
I came upon my friend’s Facebook post on how she’s making pork empanada for her daughter’s snack for the afternoon. And it was like a light bulb was lit on my mind. Why not make a turkey empanada? My aunt would sometimes bring chicken empanadas whenever she comes over. Though I don’t know the recipe, I could figure out from the taste on how to do it. I didn’t have specific quantities of the ingredients as I added stuffs as I go along with the cooking.
For the turkey filling, I sauteed onion and garlic until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. I added chopped leftover turkey and let it warm for about couple of minutes. Then threw in the vegetables. I only had carrots and mushrooms available, so that’s what I added. Let it cook for a little bit. For sweetness, I added in raisins. If I only had some craisins left, I would’ve added it in instead of raisins. To season the filling, I added about 4-5 tablespoons of leftover homemade gravy. I didn’t have to season it after that as the gravy was already perfectly seasoned. And that’s it for the filling! Green peas would’ve been a good addition, too.
For the empanada dough, I used the dough recipe from my Egg Custard Pie post. It’s flaky, buttery and not too sweet. I prefer my pie dough like that. Not to mention, very easy to do. The only thing that takes time on this dough is the chilling part which is definitely a necessary part. My sister loves this crust! She told me she could just snack on the pie crust if she could. So, I rolled the pie crust dough and using a small round bowl, cut around it to get a nice disk. Well, it’s not perfectly cut, but it should do.
I filled it with the turkey filling, but not too much, else the dough would crack. Then, I folded the dough and sealed the edges by crimping and/or simply by pressing a fork on the edges.
The big empanada on the picture? That was when I used all the dough scraps and instead of cutting them into another smaller circle, I just simply kneaded it to form a big round shape and filled it with my turkey filling.
The empanadas were placed onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper and brushed slightly with an egg wash. They were baked at 350 degrees F until golden brown in color, for about 30-45 minutes.
The empanadas tasted so good! The pie crust was a perfect match for the turkey filling. It’s a lot like a Thanksgiving meal-on-the-go. Not to mention that this is a good and delicious way to use your turkey and gravy leftovers, too!