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Empanadas Fritas de Pollo (Bolivia)

Bolivian Chicken Empanadas (Fried)

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

Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine Bolivian
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
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.