This classic chicken quiche from French cuisine will light up your mood on any gloomy day and make everything around you look beautiful! Simply with it’s pure decadence!
Making chicken quiche from scratch has been a dream come true! I had been contemplating making this stunning piece of culinary art which is known as French quiche! Finally, I got enough time to pull myself up, planned this chicken quiche to make from scratch and here it is for you all today!
Chicken quiche is one of those few dishes which you need to pre-plan as it is not a regular recipe which is made in Indian households very frequently, unless you run a French bakery! It is a luxurious item and needs all the love and care it deserves to come out as a spectacular center piece on your dinner table!
I had made a quiche quite some time back and loved the pure decadent feeling which it brought to our taste buds. It was a mushroom and zucchini quiche which too was made from scratch and proved to be a perfect item for meatless brunch!
Few months back I had got a request from one of my school friends to share a recipe of chicken quiche! I was happy to receive the request; at the same time I wanted to make sure that I share a guaranteed and fail-proof recipe so that making French quiche becomes an enjoyable experience for her as all as for all my readers!
If I break down the chicken quiche recipe into 3 independent parts, you will realize that making each of them is quite easy & simple. Then just like any other classic recipe, for example a classic lasagna or a classic biryani, all you have to do is to bring all the parts together and assemble to make a classic French chicken quiche!
Let’s get started, shall we? The three parts of making a perfect chicken quiche are – making the pie crust from scratch, making the chicken filling and finally the egg custard! You can even make the first 2 parts a day ahead and just make the custard before baking. That way, you can plan this party item without much hassle!
Let’s start with step 1: make your pie crust from scratch!
This step may seem to be the most intimidating part for many of you! It used to be the same for me! When I was making my very first quiche few years back, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to pull off this pie crust thing! Good news is I actually did!
Pies and tarts are not something that we Indians saw our moms or grandmas making! This is real fancy cooking for us food bloggers as it satisfies our adrenalin rush! Trust me, once you get the hang of it, you are gonna love making pie crust at home!
The most important point to remember while making pie crust is to use chilled butter and this is non-negotiable! Cut your butter into smaller cubes and keep it in freezer for half an hour before you start making the pie crust. Secondly, use ice water and that too just as little as needed; add a teaspoon at a time, mix in with flour and add more if & only if required.
Now let’s talk about the cheesy chicken filling!
You will need boneless & skinless chicken for your chicken quiche (which may be an obvious thing to mention but just for the uninitiated, I put it out there!) and I prefer chicken thigh meat over chicken breast. But by all means, you can use chicken breast if you like.
The important thing about this step is to balance the amount of chicken filling based on the size of your tart pan; if you put too much chicken, there won’t be enough gap for the egg mixture making the final quiche texture somewhat dry due to lack of luscious, creamy and smooth custard.
On the other hand, if you put too less of chicken, individual serving won’t have enough chicken in their portion making it just a meatless custardy pie (if something of that sort even exists!). I used about 400 grams of chicken to fill up my chicken quiche made in an 8-inch tart pan. This can be a useful starting point if you are making chicken quiche for the first time.
Finally, it’s time to make the custard mixture!
Pie crust and the custard are the heart and soul of a classic French quiche! If you get these two right, you are sorted with your quiche game. Fill it in with your favorite ingredients and you have your own signature quiche on the table!
Custard is nothing but a mixture of eggs and cream with little amount of milk. Then add any melting cheese of your choice – either one of cheddar and Swiss Gruyere is the classic cheese used in French quiche.
I used cheddar as it is easily available in India, but I am sure Gruyere will add more luxe to your chicken quiche thanks to its beautiful melting property. That makes me realize that I need to make this French quiche again using Swiss Gruyere (and it’s making me crave for it even more!).
It’s time to assemble and reap the benefit of your hard work!
Once all these 3 components are ready, you have to bring them together to create this piece of art! First roll out your pie crust dough and press it over your 2-piece tart pan. Blind bake the pie crust for 15 minutes. Then take it out and let it cool down. Don’t take it out of the tart pan.
Your chicken filling mixture must be cooked through by now and seasoned well. You can check and adjust seasoning at this point if needed. Then spread the chicken mixture uniformly over the baked pie shell.
Ensure the chicken mixture is only filling up to half of the height of tart pan. If you have extra, save it for another recipe and don’t overload the quiche as it may fall apart after baking as it will become quite heavy once it is done baking.
Now gently pour the custard mixture on top of the pie shell covering till the top of the rim of tart pan. Use a ladle to transfer the custard mixture instead of directly pouring from saucepan as that will allow you better control.
Finally sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake your quiche until golden brown on top and bubbling! Take it out from the oven and take some time to simply stare and appreciate the beauty in front of you! Cut into wedges and savor this delicacy slightly warm and get captivated within its overwhelming deliciousness! Enjoy!
- All-purpose flour – 220 gms (1 & ⅔ cup)
- Unsalted butter – 140 gms (10 tbsp), chilled and cut into small cubes
- Granulated white sugar – 1 tbsp
- Salt – ½ tsp
- Ice water – 4 to 5 tbsp
- Chicken thigh – 400 gms, boneless & skinless
- Onion – 1, medium, finely chopped
- Garlic – 8 to 10 cloves, minced
- Butter – 2 tbsp
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- Paprika – 1 tsp
- Dried basil – ½ tsp
- Dried oregano – ½ tsp
- Dried thyme – ½ tsp
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Eggs – 4
- Heavy cream – 1 cup
- Milk – ¾ cup
- Grated smoked cheddar cheese – ¾ cup
- Salt and pepper to taste
- I used a 2-piece tart pan for making quiche. The tart pan has a removable base which separates from the side ring easily (which is why it is called 2-piece!). One the quiche is baked all you have to do is to take out the side ring and serve. Lightly grease the tart pan, both the base and the sides with butter or non-stick spray and set aside.
- In your food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and pulse few times until combined. If you don’t have a food processor, use a whisk to combine.
- Next add the butter and process again using the pulse button until the mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse breadcrumbs for about 15 seconds. If there are some bigger pieces of butter left out, don’t worry about it; it will make the pie crust tastier.
- Then add the ice water but one tablespoon at a time. You may not need all the water. Stop adding water as soon as the dough starts to clump together when pinched. You are not looking for a solid ball of dough. Make sure not to over-work the dough.
- In case you are doing this without a food processor, mix the flour and butter using your fingers (or a pastry cutter) and not the palm as using your palm may produce heat which will melt the butter and you won’t get the perfect pie dough which has that buttery flakiness after baking.
- Once the butter is mixed with the flour, turn everything out on our lightly floured work-surface and gather it into a ball. Divide the dough into two equal pieces, flatten each portion into a 5 inch (12 cm) disk, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour or until firm enough to roll out.
- This quiche will need one disk of pastry dough. Once the dough is chilled enough, put it on a lightly floured surface. Roll out the pastry to fit into an 8 or 9 inch tart pan. To prevent the pastry from sticking to the counter and to ensure uniform thickness, keep lifting up and turning the pastry a quarter turn as you roll. Also, always roll from the center of the pastry to outwards to get uniform thickness. To make sure it is the right size, take your pie pan, flip it over, and place it on the rolled out pastry. The pastry should be about 2 inches (5 cm) larger than your pan.
- When the pastry is rolled to the desired size, lightly roll pastry around your rolling pin and dust off any excess flour as you roll.
- Unroll it onto the top of your pie/tart pan and gently lay it in and lightly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan using your fingertips with minimal pressure. Chill it in the refrigerator as you preheat your oven for blind-baking the pie crust.
- To blind bake the crust, preheat the oven to 218 degree C (425 F). Line the inside of the crust with an aluminum foil and fill it halfway up with dried beans/rice/baking weights. This will prevent the pie crust from rising.
- Blind-bake the pie crust at 218 C for 5 minutes.
- Remove the foil and weight and bake again for another 10 minutes after reducing the temperature to 160 degree C (325 F).
- Now you are ready to fill your pie crust with the quiche filling.
- Chop the chicken thighs into tiny little pieces. I don’t recommend using minced chicken, neither mince the chicken thighs in food processor as that will become too fine for the quiche.
- Heat a skillet and add butter & olive oil to it. Once the butter melts, add chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté those on medium flame until onion becomes translucent and lightly golden.
- Then add the chopped chicken and continue cooking them on medium flame stirring occasionally. Sauté the chicken until golden brown on all sides and are completely cooked through.
- Now add paprika, dried oregano, basil & thyme. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Stir to mix all the herbs well with chicken and just sauté for 2 more minutes. Then switch off the flame, your chicken filling is ready!
- Whisk together 4 eggs, cream, milk, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Ensure to make a homogeneous mixture.
- Preheat the oven at 160 degree C (325 F).
- To assemble the quiche, take the blind-baked pie crust and put it on a baking sheet as it will help to put the tart pan inside the oven and take it out once done. Also it will catch any dripping so you don’t have to worry about the oven cleaning later!
- Evenly spread the chicken mixture over the baked pie crust. Make sure to cover the base fully.
- Now carefully pour the egg mixture over the pie crust. I used a ladle to do this task which helps to evenly pour the custard mix.
- Finally sprinkle the grated cheese over the top covering the quiche all over. [Traditionally Gruyere cheese is used in Quiche recipes, but I only had smoked cheddar available in my pantry. Honestly, I loved my quiche with the cheddar; but if you wanna be hundred percent authentic, use Gruyere instead of cheddar!]
- Baked the filled quiche at 160 degree C for 40 to 45 minutes until the sides have set but the center is still little wobbling which will continue to cook even after you take it out of the oven.
- Let the quiche cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, loosen the sides of the tart pan from the prepared quiche, then place the tart pan on one hand and push the side ring downwards. It should separate from the quiche and fall on your arm and you have the beautiful zucchini mushroom quiche ready to serve.
- Cut the quiche in wedges and serve the delicious chicken quiche warm with a green salad on the side. Enjoy!