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Southwest Chicken Quiche

In the 1950s, Americans decided they liked quiche, and it’s easy to see why. Many women had stayed in the workforce following World War II, so casserole-type meals had become mom favorites. Its flaky crust, filled with milk, eggs, cheese, and bits of vegetables and/or meat, made it an affordable and tasty meal.

While the ‘50s and ‘60s may have proven Americans loved quiche, by the late 1970s and early 1980s, Americans frankly adored the egg dish. The simple French farmhouse fare had become an international culinary delight.

Quiche’s soaring popularity made it part of popular culture. The dish appeared in television shows and movies—most famously in “When Harry Met Sally.” Quiche parties became fun social gatherings.

Then in 1982, author Bruce Feirstein broke the eggs with his book, “Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche”—a witty satirical look at American masculinity. Like disco, the egg pie saturated society and became a parody.

However, like BeeGees' music, quiche stayed alive. Although the songs of Barry, Robin, and Maurice aren’t played as often, and quiche isn’t on every menu, they’ve stood the test of time.

While deemed a French dish, quiche originated in Germany during the Middle Ages in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen. The French later occupied the area and renamed it Lorraine. The word quiche is derived from the German word Kuchen, which means cake. The original quiche had a bread-like bottom.

While deemed a French dish, quiche originated in Germany during the Middle Ages in the medieval kingdom of Lothringen.

Quiche Lorraine began as an egg and cream custard with smoked bacon and a bread base, eventually giving way to pastry. Later, chefs and bakers added cheese. Quiche became a staple of the French cuisine.

I’m a fan of versatility in my dishes, and quiche offers countless options. In addition to chicken, ham or seafood are common protein choices. I prefer softer chicken breast, like rotisserie, instead of grilled, to make for easier slicing. Cheese options include cheddar, gouda, Swiss, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, and Havarti. You want shredded cheese that will take the flour coating for my recipe.

For a vegetarian option, I modify my recipe with only one change: swapping the chicken for sauteed mushrooms, steamed chopped broccoli, or a combination of both. When using vegetables such as mushrooms or broccoli, you must sauté or steam them first, as they release liquid when cooking. Quiche is deliciously versatile, but a liquid-to-egg balance is necessary to set properly.

The real flavor in quiche is derived from what’s added to the mild egg and cheese base (unless using a strong or pepper cheese). Fresh herbs, onions, and peppers of all sorts are real flavor enhancers. I always add minced jalapeno to my quiche. However, because I can’t eat super spicy food like raw jalapenos, I capture the flavor minus the heat, most of which is zapped in the baking, by using the jarred minced peppers.

Serve quiche as an entrée for breakfast or lunch and an appetizer at dinner. Theoretically, the dish serves six. Enjoy!


One pastry for single crust (homemade or purchased)

3 eggs

1 ½ c milk (I use equal parts heavy whipping cream and water)

3 Tbsp chopped green onion

1 Tbsp fresh chives

2 Tbsp minced red bell pepper

2 Tbsp minced jalapeno peppers

½ tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp nutmeg

¾ c chopped cooked chicken

1 c shredded cheddar

½ c shredded gouda cheese

1 Tbsp flour


  1. Line the pastry shell with aluminum foil and bake at 450° for 5 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until pastry is done. Remove from the oven and reset temperature to 325°.

  2. While the pastry is baking, in a bowl, whisk eggs and add the milk, onion, chives, peppers, salt, black pepper, and nutmeg. Mix well and add chicken.

  3. In a separate bowl, toss the cheeses with the flour. Add to egg mixture and stir until combined.

  4. Pour the egg mixture into the hot pastry shell. Bake in the 325° oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a table knife inserted near the center comes out clean.

  5. Remove from oven and let quiche rest for 10 minutes.


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