1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 store bought roasted chicken
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
3/4 cup chopped green olives
6 dashes hot sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups arepa flour (pre-cooked corn flour), available at Latin and larger super markets
2 cups warm water
Vegetable oil, for frying
Put the onion, pepper, and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. While this is cooking, pull the meat from the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. Add the chicken to the skillet along with the tomatoes, Creole seasoning, olives, hot sauce, and salt and pepper, to taste. Bring this to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Let cool while you make the dough.
Stir together the arepa flour and warm water with your hands until the dough is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes. Take a piece of the dough and roll it into a ball about the size of a lemon. Put it on a piece of plastic wrap and place another piece of wrap on top. Pat out into a 5-inch circle. Remove the top piece of plastic and put 3 tablespoons of the pulled chicken onto the center of the circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Using the plastic wrap, fold the dough over to enclose the filling and form a semi-circle. Press the edges together. Using the rim of a small saucer, trim off the edge of the empanada. Repeat to make the rest.
Put about 1/2-inch of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Dip the end of a wooden spoon into the oil: when bubbles form around it the oil is hot enough for frying. Fry the empanadas, a few at a time, until they are golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.
Note: Mozzarella cheese and a mixture of diced pear and crumbled gorgonzola cheese also make great fillings for these empanadas.
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