Friday, 16 October 2015

Chicken quiche

Quiche is an open faced savoury pie.  The filling of quiche is savoury custard and cheese along with meat, seafood and vegetables filling.  The flavour is derived from the filling and the type of cheese used.   They can be had both cold or warm, though I found them best when warmed. 

  Pie pan is first lined with pastry crust, that is blind-baked,  and then  followed by cheese, filling, custard and finally topped by cheese.  The custard filling is heavy cream whisked with eggs.  Ratio of cream and eggs is 2:1 (ie for every ½ cup of cream, you should add ¼ cup of whisked egg).  After baking, quiche gives out an aromatic smell throughout the place and  was very light and fluffy when tasted.

The first filling I tried, was chicken with parmesan cheese.  The chicken quiche, thus baked out was soft, fluffy with an delicate cheesy aroma.  All thanks to Swathi Iyer, who initiated this month's challenge.

To make an 8-inch Pastry Crust:

Let’s start by making crust.  This buttery dough needs to be refrigerated for atleast two hours or overnight, so better to prepare them the day before baking.  

You will be needing
  •         150 grams of all purpose flour
  •          ½ tsp of salt
  •          85 grams of unsalted butter, cut into tiny cubes
  •          1 to 11/2 tbspn of cold water

First, cut the butter into tiny cubes and refrigerate them.   In an dry bowl, combine flour and salt.  

Mix them.  Add in butter cubes and rub through the butter so that it is dispersed in flour.  Alternatively, you can do this in food processer also 

Now add in cold water, little by little.  Slowly, start combining the dough along with water

An soft dough should be formed.  There might be few clumps around here and there

But each clump, should hold its shape when pressed, and not fall together.  This is an passing test for an crust dough

Cling wrap and refrigerate for minimum of two hours or overnight.  This will help in moisture getting evenly distributed throughout the dough.  If kept frozen, they can be used till an month.  

Blind baking with pie crust:

Next day, remove the dough from refrigerator and let them sit under room temperature for 15-20 minutes

Either you can roll them by dusting the surface with flour, or by sandwiching them in between two baking sheets.  I sandwiched them with my silicon mat and baking sheet and rolled into an 9 inch circle.  

After rolling, remove the baking sheet and turn the silicon mat upside down over the greased pie pan.

Adjust the dough and press them down the pie pan, so that they cover the base and sides.  

Prick them throughout the base and sides with an fork.  Pricking will help in non-raising of the dough during baking.   Refrigerate this set up for fifteen to twenty minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven for 200 degree Celsius.  

After refrigeration , cover them with baking sheet and add some dried pulses, I used an combination of what I had at home, double beans and rajma.  These weights push down the crust and prevents uneven rising.    You can use raw rice as weight also, but these baking weights are inedible after blind bake, since they are exposed to such an higher temperature.   But, of course you can stock them up and reuse for blind baking. 

Bake these for twenty minutes, lateron remove the beans and sheet and bake for another fifteen minutes till the base turns brown.  You should be able to see the crust has left the edges of the ring.  

Now our crust is ready for filling to go J

The Filling, Chicken with Parmesan:

You can add greens also, but make sure you cook them well before adding to quiche.  The reason for cooking beforehand is to get an dry filling, if we use uncooked filling, they may leak out their stock during baking, leaving an soggy quiche. 

You will be needing

For the filling
  •       1 tbspn of oil
  •          ½ cup sliced shallots
  •          200 grams chicken mince
  •          1 tbspn of finely chopped garlic
  •          1 tsp of finely chopped ginger
  •          ½ tsp of chilly powder
  •          1 tsp of dhanya powder
  •          Pinch of haldi/turmeric powder
  •          Salt, to taste

For the custard
  •          ½ cup amul fresh cream
  •          1 large egg
  •          ½ tsp of chilly powder
  •          ½ tsp of pepper
  •          Salt,  to taste

  •          55 grams of parmesan cheese

In an preheated tawa, add oil.  Saute onions till they turn brown.  Add ginger and garlic.  Saute for another two minutes.  Finally add chicken mince. 

The mince will sweat out its stock.  Saute and cook till the water content is evaporated.  Add all the spices.  Be careful not to add too much of salt, since we are also going to add cheese here.  So, add salt, according to the content of the fillings.  

Keep the filling aside to cool.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. 
For the custard, open the amul fresh cream pack.  Do not shake.  Separate the liquid contents from the pack and use the cream part.  This is done because we need an heavy cream for quiche and amul has an low fat content, so separating its cream would enhance the fat content and hence is done.  The liquid part can be used in cooking purpose, like you can add them in curry, kheer etc. 

In an large bowl,  add ½ cup of cream part (from amul cream), one large egg, chilly powder and salt.  Whisk them, till they are completely dissolved.  

Grate the parmesan cheese, keep aside. 

Quiche Assembly:

For assembling quiche, take the baked pie crust, spread the base with few grated cheese.  

Spread the chicken kheema filling throughout the surface.  

Now pour our custard into the quiche.

Finally, sprinkle rest of the quiche into the cheese.

Bake in the oven for 25 minutes or till the filling is firm.

And, VOILA, there you have your own chicken quiche.  

I, served them warm.  Quiche was like an dairy- explosion.  My entire home was filled with cream and cheese smell with an hint of chicken.


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