Thursday, July 21, 2011

Domesticity and a Tasty Smoked Chicken and Courgette Quiche

Earlier this week, I told you about my courgette plants and warned you about yet another upcoming courgette post. You've read about my courgette soup, my mini-quiches and my omelette. So, what was the next courgette creation? A quiche! And not just any quiche, but one that tastes as good as a Sunday stroll through the countryside!
Quiche has always been one of those foods that makes me feel all warm and domestic. It might just have to do with the crust- which I am shamelessly proud to tell you, I make myself. Whenever I'm in the kitchen rolling out that buttery dough, my head is in the clouds and I feel a huge sense of accomplishment. As far as I'm concerned, I am June Cleaver and Martha Stewart all in one! Ha! My crust is all natural. Not from a box and not from a roll. I can make the world's best quiche crust, therefore I am! Silly, I know. But hey, I get the same feeling when I mop the floor!
The base for this quiche is a combination of flour, butter, a bit of salt and a beaten egg. Depending on the weather, I might add a little iced water to make the dough softer and more pliable. Nothing more to it. I also use this combination for sweet pie crusts. Instead of a half teaspoon of salt, I use a mere pinch and add just a touch of sugar.
My quiches happen to love vegetables, ham, bacon or fish. Funny enough, I've never tried one with chicken until now. And for that, I must thank my hubby. When we were doing food shopping earlier this week, I mentioned making a quiche to him and asked if he had any suggestions about what to put into it, bearing in mind that it would also include my beloved baby courgettes. He immediately mentioned chicken. Thinking plain chicken would be a tad on the boring side, I opted for smoked chicken strips.
As far as flavorings, I plucked a handful of basil leaves from the garden, chopped them up and threw them in with a few teaspoons of dried oregano. The combination of flavors worked exceptionally well in this recipe. I do hope you'll give it a go and let me know what you think! By the way, when I made this quiche, my daughter's friend was over for dinner and voraciously cleaned her plate. She's a picky pre-teen, so seeing how much she enjoyed my quiche made me feel even more like that fascinating combination of June and Martha! Enjoy!

Quiche with Smoked Chicken and Courgettes 
Serves 6

For the pastry:
200g flour
125g cold butter cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp salt
one beaten egg
iced water, if needed

crème fraîche
4 eggssmall bunch of fresh basil, chopped 
2 tsps dried oregano
1 courgette, or two small garden courgettes, cubed
200gr smoked chicken strips
sea salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste

Mix flour with butter and salt in processor at low speed for about 20 seconds until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add beaten egg and pulse until dough comes together into a ball. If the dough seems dry, add a drop or two of iced water. Shape the dough into a disk and refrigerate 40 minutes wrapped in cling film. Let it sit at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before using it.

Preheat oven to 180C and grease a 25cm quiche pan with a little olive oil. Roll out your dough on a floured surface and drape over quiche pan pressing it up against the edges. Prick the dough with a fork all over its surface and blind bake (I use baking beans on a crumpled sheet of baking paper) for about 8 minutes. Remove the baking beans and paper and allow the bottom of crust to slightly brown. This will take just a minute or two. Meanwhile beat the 
crème fraîche, eggs and salt and pepper. Fold in the courgettes, smoked chicken, oregano and basil. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for 40 minutes. Allow the quiche to rest in at room temperature for an extra five minutes before serving. Serve with a simple green salad and a vinaigrette made with olive oil, herb vinegar, grainy mustard and a pinch of salt.


Gloria said...

Look amazing Paola!! I love quiches, bookmarked! xx gloria

Paola said...

Gracias Gloria! They are lovely indeed!

At Anna's kitchen table said...

Oh wow! Look at the amount of filling in that baby!!
I'm not a quiche lover, because I don't like eggs really...custard I can cope with, but not quiche or ommelete, which makes me quite sad.

Paola said...

Not sad at all, Anna! There are things I don't like that much either. :) But yes, this quiche was busting at its seems!!