Empanadas Fritas de Pollo (Bolivia)
Bolivian food | Breakfast

Bolivian Chicken Empanadas (Fried)

August 23, 2019

These Bolivian empanadas have a crispy crust filled with chicken, vegetables, raisins, and olives.

{this recipe was first published on Curious Cuisiniere}

Welcome to another Friday of Bolivian street food.

Today we talk about empanadas.

You can find empanadas in almost every country in South America. Sweet or savory empanadas. Made with white flour, cornmeal, cassava or mashed bananas.

The variety of fillings that you can find is quite a lot, and each year the different flavors increase.

Bolivian Empanadas

Fried empanadas (beef or chicken) can be found throughout the country.

The dough is usually thin and crispy.

The filling always begins with an “ahogau” (sautéed onion, green pepper, and garlic), some kind of meat (diced beef, or shredded chicken), some vegetables (potatoes and/or peas), and hard-boiled eggs.

In order to make a profit, usually, these empanadas that are found in the streets are stuffed with too many potatoes, an ingredient that abounds in Bolivia 😊

Filling for Chicken Empanadas

filling for empanadas

We start with the filling because after preparing it, because it needs to cool completely before assembling the empanadas. I prefer to do this step 1 or 2 days before.

Start by cooking the chicken breast in a pot of water, and once it is ready, remove it, and allow it to cool enough to shred it.

Keep the water! you’ll use for the filling.

While the chicken cools, prepare the rest of the filling.

I’ll give you a list of what I personally think the filling should have:

  • Chicken
  • Onion
  • Green peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Oregano
  • Cumin

Ingredients that you can skip if you really dislike them. But I recommend you add everything! 😋

  • Olives (green or black)
  • Raisins (my favorite)
  • Peas (my children beg me not to add them 😅)
  • Hard-boiled egg
  • Chili powder or fresh

Dough for Bolivian Empanadas

Bolivian empanada ready for frying

Each house has its secrets. Each cook makes it her own way.

The dough for these empanadas is the result of several years of trying so many recipes and turning them up and down until it came out how my mom liked it. Yes, this whole recipe was passed down to me by my mom ❤️

If you are in Bolivia, you’ll notice that this dough or crust doesn’t resemble the ones sold in the streets. It is a bit crispier and sturdier.

On Sucre Street (in Santa Cruz), we found this little restaurant that sold the best, fried empanadas we’ve ever had, so we tried to recreate the same dough.

Empanada dough you can be made with butter or lard.

You might think that it has a lot of sugar. That characterizes Bolivian empanadas, whose dough is a bit sweet. Don’t worry, it’s not very sweet, just a touch.

It’s important to let the dough rest. It makes the gluten relax and you can roll the dough more easily without shrinking each time you want to stretch it.

Filling and Frying Empanadas

Bolivian Chicken Empanadas (Fried)

I find it easier to roll one disc at a time, fill it and set it on a kitchen towel and continue like this until I have several empanadas ready before I start frying them.

When adding the filling, make sure that it doesn’t touch the edges of the dough because then it won’t seal well, and if they don’t seal well, they’ll come open while you frying them.

For frying empanadas, I recommend that you use a wok, a deep pan, or a saucepan so you can add enough oil.

Empanadas are eaten for breakfast or at tea time (snack), either with a fruit juice or coffee.

Have you made empanadas before? what kind of filling did you make?

If you liked the recipe above, please consider rating the recipe and leaving a comment below! and share your picture on Instagram with the hashtag #chipabythedozen

Don’t forget to check out the rest of our Bolivian recipes!

5 from 1 vote
Empanadas Fritas de Pollo (Bolivia)
Bolivian Chicken Empanadas (Fried)
Prep Time
40 mins
Cook Time
1 hr

These Bolivian empanadas have a crispy crust filled with chicken, vegetables, raisins, and olives.

Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: Bolivian
Servings: 18 empanadas
Calories: 206 kcal
Author: Lizet Bowen
  • Filling:
  • 1.7 pounds chicken breast (666g)
  • 2 medium potatoes diced (approximately 500g)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 diced green pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder, if desired
  • 3 diced hard-boiled eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped green olives
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • Dough:
  • 8 cups all-purpose flour (1 kilo)
  • 1 cup butter or lard at room temperature (226g)
  • 3/4 cup sugar (150g)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-3/4 cup of water
  • 6 cups of vegetable oil for frying
  1. For the filling: In a large saucepan add the chicken breast and enough water to cover the chicken. Cook until the chicken is tender. Let it cool enough to handle and shred it. Reserve 2 cups of the broth.

  2. Add the potatoes and water to a medium saucepan and cook until tender when pricked with a fork. Drain potatoes and set aside.

  3. In a large saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the onions, garlic, parsley and green peppers over high heat for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the reserved stock (2 cups), shredded chicken, potatoes, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, and green olives. Bring to a simmer and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of flour, stirring constantly. Cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and add raisins and diced eggs. Mix carefully to avoid breaking eggs.
  5. Refrigerate until completely cooled, about 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Empanada dough: In a large bowl, add the flour, butter, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers or a pastry blender, mix until crumbly.

  7. Add water and mix until the dough comes together. Keep the dough in a zip-lock bag for 10 minutes.

  8. Knead the dough until smooth. * Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water if the dough seems dry. Let the dough rest in a zip-lock bag for 20 minutes.

  9. Divide the dough into 18 equal portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Let stand in a zip-lock bag for 5 minutes.

  10. How to fill empanadas: Roll and fill one empanada at a time.

  11. Using a rolling pin, roll dough into a circle 6 inches in diameter (15cm).

  12. Hold the empanada disc in the palm of your hand and place 1/4 cup of cold filling. Make sure the filling does not touch the edges.
  13. Fold the dough in half over the filling. Squeeze the edges to seal the empanada.

  14. Starting at one corner, press the dough with your thumb and index finger, fold the corner over the edge forming a triangle and press again. Continue until all the empanada is sealed.

  15. Using a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Around 320 F (160C). Fry the empanadas for 5 minutes (2.5 min. for each side). **

  16. Drain on paper towels.
  17. Serve hot.
Recipe Notes

* The dough can be mixed and kneaded in a kitchenaid (large electric mixer) with the dough hook attached.

** These empanadas can also be baked at 400F (204C) for 20 minutes.

The calories may not be accurate, because when frying empanadas they absorb some of the oil.

Bolivian Chicken Empanadas (Fried)
Bolivian Chicken Empanadas (Fried)

Only registered users can comment.

  1. Lizet these empanadas look so good you can sell them! I used to buy empanadas on the way to work from this little stand every morning but now I know how to make them at home! Such a great recipe!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.