Chicken Chile Relleno Hand Pies

READY IN: 2hrs 40mins




  • To Make the Easy Cornmeal Crust: Cut the butter into cubes and freeze them while you measure and mix the dry ingredients.
  • Combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse three to four times to mix. Remove the butter from the freezer and scatter the cubes over the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture forms pea-size clumps.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of the ice water.
  • Drizzle the yolk mixture into the flour mixture and pulse just until the dough holds together. If it does not come together add the last tablespoon of ice water and pulse.
  • Turn the dough out onto a clean floured work surface. Gather the dough together in a mound and knead it a few times to smooth it out. Divide it in half and gently pat and press each half into a rough rectangle, circle or square about 1 inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours, up to 2 days.
  • To Make the Pie Filling: In a large frying pan, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add half of the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add chicken and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula and stirring occasionally, until opaque, about 10 minutes. Add the corn and cook until just tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
  • Return the frying pan to medium heat and add the remaining tablespoon of oil. When hot, add the remaining onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the butter and let it melt. Then add the flour and stir until it coats the onions evenly.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until the flour begins to turn golden, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chile powder, paprika, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  • Increase the heat to medium-high and gradually add the 1 cup water, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to the consistency of a gravy, about 5 minutes. Pour the onion mixture into the chicken mixture and let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Mix in the chiles, cheese and lime juice, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Let cool completely. (The mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before continuing.).
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Remove half of the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it, place it on the floured work surface and flour the top lightly.
  • Roll out the dough into a rectangle that is roughly 9 by 12 inches. The dough should be about 1/8 inch thick.
  • Using a plain or fluted pastry wheel, trim off the ragged edges. Then cut the dough into circles, squares or rectangles (the rectangels will look somewhat like a poptart), as small or as large as you like, saving the trimmings. Use 1-2 heaping tablespoons of filling for each pie, depending on how large they are, without overstuffing.
  • Shape the pies, sealing the edges and crimpling decoratively, if you like. Slash or prick each pie to vent steam.
  • Transfer the pies to the prepared baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours. Repeat the rolling, cutting, filling, and crimping with second half of the dough.
  • Gather the dough scraps from both halves, form into a ball, and roll out to make a few more pastries. (Reroll the dough only once or it will bake up tough.).
  • When the second baking sheet of pies is ready, place the first pan in the oven and the second in the refrigerator and then place a baking rack over a sheet of parchment on your table or counter. (This saves the surface from sticky drips.) Bake the pastries until they are golden brown on top (the sides will brown first), about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and immediately. Carefully move the pastries onto the baking rack, then slip the second baking sheet into the oven. Let the pastries cool for at least 10 minutes before serving, but be sure to enjoy them warm.
  • Eat or freeze these pies the day they are made. They can be frozen for up to 2 months. Reheat in a 375°F oven for about 12 minutes.
  • Serve with pico de gallo and sour cream.