Chicken Pasteles En Hoja – Easy Dominican Snacks

This Chicken Pasteles en Hoja recipe is a variation of traditional beef-based Pasteles. They are just as easy to make, packed with authentic Dominican flavors, and can take even less time!

Chicken Pasteles En Hoja

What Are Pasteles En Hoja?

Pasteles En Hoja is a traditional dish popular in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic typically enjoyed during the holiday season.

These savory treats consist of a masa dough filled with meat, wrapped in plantain leaves, and boiled to perfection, offering a unique alternative to steamed tamales. Also, check out my other Pasteles En Hoja recipe.

Chicken Pasteles En Hoja (1)

Check out my post about Dominican foods: Best Dominican Foods.

What You Need To Make Chicken Pasteles En Hoja

There are three elements to this dish. The first is the plantain leaf, which are banana leaf. The second is the masa dough. And the third is the chicken filling.

  • Plantain Leaf Wrapper: Essential for authentic flavor, these can be sourced from African, Asian, or Latin American grocers.
  • Masa Dough: The same plantain masa used in beef pasteles, allowing for batch preparation and versatility in flavors.
  • Chicken Filling: Quick to make, richly spiced, and adaptable. Use raw or precooked chicken, with options to customize flavors like adding garlic or more plantains.

Alternative Wrappers Not Advised: Avoid corn husks or parchment paper as they alter cooking results and flavors.

Ingredients for Chicken Pasteles En Hoja

How To Make Pasteles En Hoja

First, prepare the chicken filling and let it cool down while you prepare the dough. Then, combine the grated plantains, cocoyam, and pumpkin in a large mixing bowl. Then add all the seasoning and mix it well together.

1. Place the plantain squares in a line on a flat, clean workspace. Add about 2 tablespoons of the plantain masa dough to the center of the leaf. Spread it so it forms a slight square, and leaves a thin border before it is wrapped.

2. Then, add about 2 tablespoons of your cooled chicken filling.

3. Use one end of the banana leaf to fold over the masa filling. It should cover the chicken filling. You may need to add a bit more masa to help the chicken filling enclose.

4. Fold in the sides to an envelope and use butcher’s twine to tie tightly the wrapped banana leaves.

Making the Pasteles En Hoja step 1 to 4

5. Prepare water to boil in a large pot. Once the water is boiling, add the Pasteles and allow them to boil for 30-40 minutes.

Making Pasteles En Hoja step 5

Once they are fully cooked, cut the twine and gently have the plantain leaves peeled to serve soft and warm. This recipe is absolutely simple. Enjoy this dish with hot sauce, ketchup, or just plain.

Pasteles En Hoja close up

Pasteles en Hoja is one of many recipes enjoyed by local Dominicans. Puerto Ricans enjoy it with a plate of carne molida, or spiced ground meat, rellenos, and hot sauce.

There are many different recipes out there to try. This is one of my favorites, and I hope you enjoy it as well!

FAQs

How do you know if your Pasteles en Hoja are cooked?

Follow the cooking times I’ve laid out. But, if you open them, you can see if the plantain masa dough is firm (not still raw) and if the wrapped pocket holds its shape. You’ve already cooked the chicken, so you don’t have to wait for a specific internal temperature.

How long do you cook frozen chicken Pasteles en Hoja?

The frozen pockets should cook for an extra 15 minutes (at least). You can test the inside to see if it is heated through. But again, there isn’t a specific internal temperature. The filling should just be thawed and heated.

Why are my Pasteles mushy?

It’s likely because the dough got wet, and you didn’t wrap the leaves properly. It could also be that your sauce (for the chicken filling) is too watery and wasn’t reduced for long enough. The plantain masa dough won’t necessarily be the issue because we aren’t making it with liquids.

More Delicious Recipes

Pasteles En Hoja

Chicken Pasteles En Hoja – Easy Dominican Festive Snacks

Keesha
These chicken Pasteles en Hoja pockets are extremely filling, packed with flavor, and super easy to make – despite taking some time. And, you can even make these ahead of time and freeze them for later meals.
5 from 31 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Chicken Filling 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 181 kcal

Ingredients
  

For the chicken filling

  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 medium chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
  • 1 tsp sea salt flakes (to taste)
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Adobo
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp sofrito mix
  • 1 pack Sazon Seasoning
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp freshly chopped oregano

For the plantain masa dough

  • 2 large green plantains, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 pound white cocoyam, peeled, finely grated
  • 1 pound pumpkin, peeled, finely grated
  • 2 tbsp sofrito mix
  • 1 tbsp annatto/achiote powder
  • 1 tsp adobo seasoning
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • Plantain or banana leaves
  • Red chili, sliced, optional

Instructions
 

Cook and shred the chicken

  • Preheat your oven to 360ºF (180ºC). Line a roasting tray with foil.
  • Season the chicken breasts with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, sazon seasoning ,adobo, 1 tbsp of sofrito mix, and pepper. Make sure they are covered well.
  • Leave the chicken breasts to bake for about 25-30 minutes or until they are done.
  • Once the chicken breasts are finished roasting, remove them from the oven and transfer them to a large mixing bowl. Allow them to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Then, start shredding the chicken breasts using two forks. Pull it apart until it has a medium-fine texture.
  • Once you are finished, set the pulled chicken aside.

Make the pulled chicken filling

  • To start, heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the diced onion and leave it to saute for 5 minutes or until it becomes translucent.
  • Finally, add the tomato puree along with the freshly chopped herbs.
  • Give the ingredients a good stir and bring the sauce to a boil.
  • Once it boils, lower the heat so the sauce simmers. Add the pulled chicken pieces and the 1½ Tbsp of sofrito mix. Mix them in very well so they are covered with sauce.
  • Allow the sauce and chicken to cook for 10 minutes.
  • Once they are completely cooked, remove them from the heat and allow them to cool at room temperature.

Prepare the plantain masa and banana leaves

  • To start, combine the grated plantains, cocoyam, and pumpkin in a large mixing bowl.
  • Then, add the sofrito, annatto powder, and adobo seasoning. Mix these ingredients together very well to form your seasoned plantain masa dough.
  • Next, prepare the plantain leaves. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Place a large bowl with ice water next to it.
  • While the water is coming to a boil, cut the plantain leaves into 6-inch square pieces.
  • When the water is boiling, plunge the plantain squares into the water. Leave them to cool for 30-60 seconds, or until they start becoming pliable.
  • Once blanched, remove them from the hot water and plunge them into the ice water. This will stop them from cooking.
  • Allow the plantain squares to cool completely.
  • Remove them from the water and let them dry.

Assemble the chicken Pasteles en Hoja

  • Place the plantain squares in a line on a flat, clean workspace.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons of the plantain masa dough to the center of the leaf. Spread it so it forms a slight square. Make sure you leave a 1-inch border.
  • You can top the masa with sliced chili if you'd like.
  • Then, add about 2 tablespoons of your cooled chicken filling.
  • Use one end of the plantain leaf to fold over the masa filling. It should cover the chicken filling. You may need to add a bit more masa to help the chicken filling enclose.
  • Fold the leaf over to make an enclosed envelope. Fold in the sides and secure the plantain leaf with butcher's twine.
  • Repeat this step with all of the pockets.

Cook the chicken Pasteles

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  • Once it's boiling, add the Pasteles and allow them to boil for 30-40 minutes.
  • Once cooked, unwrap the pockets and serve them with a sauce or accompaniment.

Nutrition

Calories: 181kcalCarbohydrates: 33gProtein: 2gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 413mgPotassium: 583mgFiber: 3gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 3510IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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