Achiote Chicken Empanadas with Mango Chutney

It's so hard to eat just one of these. The little chicken empanadas are a project, but it's well worth the time and effort, and they make a perfect appetizer for a party or just to share over a bottle of Frolic Viognier on a warm afternoon or evening.


  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, cubed into ¼ inch pieces  ·  4 
  • Salt (MC)  ·  1/2 teaspoon 
  • Cilantro, finely chopped (MC)  ·  2 tablespoons 
  • Limes, freshly squeezed (MC)  ·  2 
  • Mangos, small diced (MC)  ·  2 
  • Pepper  ·  1/2 teaspoon 
  • Salt  ·  1/2 teaspoon 
  • Vegetable Oil  ·  2 cups 
  • White Wine Vinegar  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • Water  ·  1 tablespoon 
  • Garlic cloves, minced  ·  4 
  • Herbie’s Whole Black Peppercorns  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • Herbie’s Allspice  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • Herbie’s Cumin Seeds  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • Herbie’s Oregano  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • Herbie’s Annatto Seed  ·  1 teaspoon 
  • Package Round Wonton Wrappers  ·  1 
  • Head Cabbage  ·  1 
  • Pepper (MC)  ·  1/2 teaspoon 


Empanadas are made by folding dough or bread around a stuffing, usually a variety of meat, cheese, vegetables or fruits. Annatto is derived from the seeds of the achiote trees. In this recipe we chose to use Wonton wrappers to keep the dish light and allow the chicken and spices to show.

Using the (MC) ingredients, combine the diced mango, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Refrigerate and reserve.

Crush the annatto seeds, oregano, cumin, allspice, and peppercorns using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder. Transfer the fine mixture to a bowl and add the garlic, water, vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Mix into a paste.

Combine the paste with the cubed chicken. Then take one wonton wrapper at a time and rub the edges all the way around with water. Take about 1 teaspoon of the chicken mixture and place in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and press the edge firmly to seal the empanada. Feel free to fold the edge also to ensure that it is sealed. Repeat with the rest. It should make at least 14.

In a medium stock pot heat 2 cups of vegetable oil to 350 degrees.

Once the oil is hot fry about 4-5 at a time for about 3 min. Then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel. Serve warm with Mango chutney on top.

Chef Tips

  • This is a great appetizer to do for a large party because the empanadas can be frozen then re-heated in oil.
  • (MC) = Mango Chutney ingredients.

Frolic Viognier

Frolic Viognier

Frolic is a single-varietal of the white grape Viognier from a single vineyard.