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These Soccer Ball Chicken Chile Relleno Empanadas are made with Modelo Especial® beer marinated chicken, roasted poblano peppers, and cheese for a twist on a classic with a festive flair!
I grew up playing soccer and we have a group of friends that like the sport as well. We will head to local major league games to tailgate and watch games, both domestic and international or have at home viewing parties. Whenever we have people over for a game, I like to cook up a lot of yummy and unique snacks. These Soccer Ball Chicken Chile Relleno Empanadas are perfect for soccer games! The festive design brings a smile to everyone’s face. With the big soccer tournament coming up this summer, they will definitely be making an appearance again! The Modelo® beer is a perfect complement to the Mexican food and a staple at our viewing parties with friends.
The chicken inside these Soccer Ball Chicken Chile Relleno Empanadas is marinated in Modelo Especial® beer. Modelo’s flavor is a perfect complement to the pepper and cheese. This Pilsner-style Lager is crisp and refreshing, characterized with an orange blossom honey aroma and hint of herb. And of course, the empanadas go great with a cold Modelo Especial® in hand! Click here to find Modelo near you!
Modelo is “brewed with a fighting spirit” with time, effort, and determination to create the model Mexican lager. This has led Modelo to become today’s fastest growing import beer in America over the past three years. The Mexican culture of Modelo is a perfect tribute to cheering on the Mexican soccer team with some Mexican snacks.
These Soccer Ball Chicken Chile Relleno Empanadas are a labor of love, but they are so adorable that it is worth it! You can easily make these in stages and in advance to make it easier. First, start by making your empanada dough (you can also use pie crust). This is the empanada dough I use. Then make sure you have your chicken cooked in the Modelo Especial and the poblano pepper roasted and peeled. Roll out the dough until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick. Then use a glass or another round object to cut out the circles. I just press a drinking glass and twist it in the dough. You can also trace around something with a knife.
When you have all of your circles, use a black edible marker to draw a soccer ball on half of the circles. If you mess one up, no worries! You can use it as a “bottom” and no one will see it. Start by making a pentagon (5 sides) in the middle of the circle and shade it in. Then draw a line coming out of each point. Then branch two lines from there to make hexagons (6 sides) on each edge of the pentagon. These are the white patches. Then make more black pentagons between the hexagons. You can also print off a soccer ball pattern the same size as your circles, cut out the black patches, and use it as a stencil to trace them on. Then just connect the black patches with lines.
When you have your patterns done, it is time to start filling! Place some roasted poblano pepper on the base, leaving a half inch border around the edge. Then top with some cheese and chicken. You can use the ratio that you prefer, but you do not want to over stuff or else the filling could pop out. A three-inch circle can fit approximately 1 1/2-2 Tablespoons total of filling. Then place the soccer ball pattern disc on top and press down. Using your fingers, press all the way around the edges to seal. Repeat this process with all the discs. Touch them up with a little more black marker if needed where they have stretched or moved.
Optional: you can refrigerate the soccer balls for 30 minutes to help seal them, but this is not necessary. Bake them off at 375 F for approximately 20-22 minutes, or until the dough is completely cooked and hard to the touch. Serve with your favorite sauces like enchilada sauce, salsa, or guacamole! (I believe in empanadas always having a sauce because they can be a little dry on their own).
Aren’t these Soccer Ball Chicken Chile Relleno Empanadas just adorable?!? If you make some of these for your World Cup viewing parties, please share them with us on social media!
- Roast your poblano pepper under the broiler in your oven. See instructions on how to roast peppers here. Peel and set aside.
- Heat the oven to 350F. Put the chicken in a baking dish with 1/2 Modelo beer, juice of 1 lime, and salt. Bake until the chicken is completely cooked through.
- While the chicken is baking, make your empanada dough.
- Roll out the empanada dough until it is approximately 1/8 inch thick.
- Use a glass or another round object to cut out circles of the dough approximately 3 inches wide. Repeat this process with the scraps until you have used all (or most) of the dough.
- Heat the oven to 375F.
- Using a black edible marker, draw a soccer ball pattern on half of the circles. To do this, start by making a pentagon in the center of the dough. Then draw a line out of each corner of the pentagon. From there, make the white hexagons around the pentagon. Between each hexagon is another black pentagon. Continue this process to the edge of the circle. See images for different steps of what this looks like. You can also use a pattern that you print off online, cut out the black parts, and place the pattern on the dough disk. Then color in the gaps that you cut out and connect each pentagon. If you make a mistake on any of them, don't worry! You can use it as the bottom and no one will see it. Practice drawing on paper if you need to.
- When the chicken is done, shred it.
- After you have half of your dough circles designed as a soccer ball, start assembling. Place some chopped poblano pepper on one of the plain dough bases, leaving a half inch border around the circle. Top it with some cheese and chicken. Place a soccer ball on top and press down. Using your fingers, press firmly around the edges of the circle to seal. The marker may come off and get on your hand, so use plastic gloves to avoid getting stained if you wish.
- Place the empanada on a silicone mat lined baking sheet. Repeat the building process with the remaining empanadas. If desired, go back after assembly to re-draw black on any areas where it has stretched, cracked, or rubbed off.
- Cut two small holes into the soccer balls with a sharp knife along two of the lines (in case it splits open a little, it will not be as noticeable as if it was in the center of a patch).
- Bake the empanadas for approximately 20-22 minutes until the dough is firm to the touch. Serve warm with your favorite Mexican sauces for dipping like salsa, guacamole, or enchilada sauce.