Tex-Mex Chicken Arepas

Since moving to Northern Cuba (AKA: South Florida) I’ve become a LOVER of Arepas AND Empanadas!  What’s not to love when you have a baked or fried dough STUFFED with delicious meat?!  Seriously, these are one of my favorite things to eat on a cheat day.  Well…a cheat day until NOW!  Thanks to my Every Last Crumb cookbook, I can at least have my Arepas guilt free!  All I need now is a recipe for a Paleo Empanadas and I will be one happy woman!

The chicken mixture recipe is basically something I just threw together in a pan and prayed it tasted good in the Arepa.  I will say that I bought a 6 pound roaster chicken at the grocery store yesterday and decided to throw that bad boy in the crock pot this morning… I let it cook on low ALL day long.  When it was time to eat, that chicken was so moist and tender, it literally fell off the bones.  DELICIOUS!  We have a ton of chicken leftover, so I may be making more Arepas tomorrow 🙂

Yields: 2-3 Servings

Chicken Mixture Ingredients:

  • 3-4 cups shredded, cooked chicken, Rotisserie, baked/roasted, whatever you have
  • 14.5 oz can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin (I like a lot!)
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp honey
  • salt to taste
  • couple pinches of cayenne, optional
  • 1 handful of chopped parsley, optional
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock

Arepas Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 1 tbsp double-acting, aluminum free baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup Spectrums vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • oil for the pan

Directions for the Arepas:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the coconut flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, baking powder, guar gum, and salt until blended
  3. Add the shortening and mix thoroughly with a spoon or rubber spatula.
  4. Add the water and vinegar and mix until fully incorporated.
  5. Place a skillet on medium-high heat.  Add a tbsp of fat to the pan to prevent the dough from sticking.
  6. While the skillet is heating up, oil your hands and divide the dough into 6 equal portions.  Shape each portion into a thin disc about 5 inches in diameter and a little less than 1/8 inch thick.
  7. Cook two at a time for 1-2 minutes per side, just to brown the outside.
  8. Remove the Arepas from the skillet and place on a baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining dough.
  9. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until firm to the touch and cooked through.

Directions for the chicken mixture:

(This can be made before OR after the Arepas)

  1.  While your Arepas are baking, heat up a skillet on medium heat.  Add the tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, honey, salt, and cayenne and stir well.  Taste and check the seasonings.
  2. Add the shredded chicken and parsley.  Mix well.  If the chicken mixture is too dry, add some stock to it.  Start off with a cup and add more if needed.  Let this simmer until you’re ready to eat.
  3. Once the Arepas are done, let them cool for a couple of minutes, then cut them open just enough to stuff them with the chicken mixture.  Be careful doing this, they break easily!  Now go make some!  You’re going to love it!

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