Rania Harris continued her culinary world tour by showing off some great recipes inspired by Spain!

Chicken Empanada with Chorizo, Raisins, and Olives

  • 3 whole chicken legs including thighs (2 to 2 1/4 lb total)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large onions, halved lengthwse, then cut lengthwise into 1/4″ strips
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Turkish bay leaves or 1 California
  • 1/3 cup finely diced spanish chorizo
  • 1/2 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (not hot)
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1//2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough – thawed
  • 1 egg beaten with 1tablespoon water for egg wash


Make filling: Pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown chicken, turning over once, about 6 minutes total, and transfer to a plate. Sauté onions, garlic and bay leaves in fat remaining in skillet, stirring frequently until onions are softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add chorizo and paprika and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add olives, raisins, wine, and broth and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up any brown bits. Return chicken to skillet along with any juices accumulated on plate, then reduce heat to moderately low and simmer chicken, covered, turning over once, until tender, 25 to 30 minutes total.

Transfer chicken to a clean plate. (sauce in skillet should be the consistency of heavy cream; if it’s not briskly simmer until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes) when chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and coarsely chop meat. Stir chicken into sauce and discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper, then cool filling, uncovered, about 30 minutes.

To form and bake empanada:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a half sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper.

Cut the dough in half, then roll out 1 half (keep remaining dough covered with plastic wrap) on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin into a 14- by 12- inch rectangle and transfer to baking pan. Spread filling evenly over dough, leaving a 1-inch border, and moisten border with egg wash. Roll out remaining dough in same manner, then arrange over filling and press edges together to seal. Roll edges in and press to form a decorative rim. Cut steam vents in center of empanada. Brush top with egg wash.

Bake empanada until crust is golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in pan on a rack, then slide empanada onto rack using a wide metal spatula and cool to warm.

Cut empanada into squares and serve warm or at room temperature.

Red Wine Sangria

  • 2 bottles red Spanish table wine
  • 1-cup brandy
  • 1/2-cup triple sec
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1-cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/2-cup simple syrup, or more to taste (equal parts sugar and water, heated until sugar dissolves, cooled)
  • Orange slices
  • Apple slices
  • Blackberries


Mix all ingredients together and let stand in a tightly sealed container or pitcher for at least 24 hours in the refrigerator before serving.

Yield: about 8 servings

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