|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 70g||90%|
|Saturated Fat 8g||42%|
|Total Carbohydrate 6g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Pastéis are a Brazilian street food delicacy. These fried pastries are often sold filled with various savory fillings like cheese, chicken, shrimp, hearts of palm, or ground beef. Pastéis are typically deep fried and although the dough used for this beloved food may resemble empanada dough in some ways, it's crispier and crunchier—more like a spring roll.
Corn, peas, carrots, olives, and hard-boiled eggs are popular ingredients that you can add to chicken pastéis, but this recipe for pastel frito de frango has a creamy filling of cheese and chicken seasoned with tomato and onion. To speed things up, you can make the chicken ahead of time (and the filling itself, too) in order to break this recipe into steps and make it easier to pull off.
Click Play to See This Brazilian Pasteis With Chicken Recipe Come Together
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- Salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 cups vegetable oil, for frying
- For the pastel dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons lard, or vegetable shortening
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup water, hot
- 1 tablespoon vodka (or cachaça), optional
Prepare the Filling
Gather the ingredients.
In a saucepan, place the chicken breasts with the bouillon and cover with water. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside, reserving the broth.
Shred the chicken finely (a food processor fitted with a plastic blade works well for this) or shred with two forks, and set aside.
In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and sauté the onions and green onions until soft.
Add the garlic salt, oregano, chili powder, and cornstarch. Mix well.
Add the tomato paste and 1 cup of the reserved chicken broth and simmer, until the mixture starts to thicken slightly.
Add the shredded chicken and mix well, adding more chicken broth if the mixture seems too dry.
Remove from heat and stir in the cream cheese and lime juice until well mixed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while you prepare the dough.
Prepare the Dough
Gather the ingredients.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, vegetable shortening, salt, baking powder, vinegar, egg, and vodka (if using).
Mix 1/4 cup of the reserved chicken broth with 3/4 cup hot water.
Gradually add this water mixture to the flour mixture, stirring well.
Add enough liquid to make a dough, and knead dough gently until smooth, adding more liquid if necessary. The dough should be soft and smooth, but not sticky (add more flour if the dough is too wet). Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
Assemble the Pastéis
Divide the dough in half and roll out one half thinly on a floured surface.
Fold in half once and roll it out again, then let it rest for 5 minutes. The goal is to roll it out as thinly as possible (to about a 9- by 12-inch rectangle).
Cut the dough in half lengthwise.
Then cut each half vertically into 5 pieces, so that you have 10 rectangles of dough. They do not need to be an exact size, and you can make them bigger or smaller as you see fit.
Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on top of a rectangle of dough.
Dip your finger in water and moisten the edges of the rectangle.
Place another rectangle of dough on top, encasing the filling.
Press the edges of the 2 rectangles together, then pinch them together with a fork all the way around. Repeat with remaining rectangles, then roll out the other half of dough and repeat.
Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil in a heavy saucepan or deep fryer to 360 F. Fry pasteles in batches until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels and serve warm. Enjoy!
How to Store Brazilian Pastéis
As with most fried foods, these will taste the best as soon as they've cooled enough to handle and then eat. You can certainly refrigerate them and then eat them cold or at room temperature, but you'll lose the crispy texture. They don't reheat particularly well, unless you can reheat them in an air fryer.
If you want to freeze components of this dish, you can. Make the dough and the filling and freeze them separately for later assembly. Bring the ingredients to room temperature.