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Deliciously Organic: Chicken and Pecan Quiche

Deliciously Organic

A blog devoted entirely to simple, wholesome, organic cooking.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chicken and Pecan Quiche

Are all eggs equal? I used to think so. Recent studies say conventional eggs differ nutritionally from organic, pastured eggs.  A 2007 Mother Earth News study concluded that hens raised on pasture may produce eggs containing "1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, 2x more omega-2 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E and 7 times more beta carotene." I find that pastured eggs are much richer and more flavorful than conventional eggs.

True "free-range" or pastured chickens freely roam outside to peck at the ground and eat plants, insects and worms along with their feed. How is this different from a "free-range - conventional" egg? The USDA defines "free range" as "allowed access to the outside". The key word here is "access". It doesn't mean the chicken ever saw the light of day, only that it had access. Conventional chicken feed consists of corn and soy (usually genetically modified), cottonseed meal, and antibiotics.

So, where do you buy pastured eggs? I've gotten them from some Whole Foods stores, local farmers markets, or straight from a local farm. Since my husband is in the military, we move every few years and many times I've thought I wouldn't be able to find the eggs I want, but I've learned to ask around - someone will know where you can find the ingredients you're looking for. Local Harvest and Eat Wild are also great resources to find pastured eggs in your area.      

Once you find the eggs you're looking for, whip-up this fabulous quiche. The mixture of whole wheat flour, cheese, pecans, and butter creates a crispy, cheesy crust good enough to eat on its own. The savory filling of chicken, eggs, sour cream, mayonnaise, and dill has a splash of tabasco sauce for a little kick. I usually serve it with a salad and hope we'll have leftovers for breakfast the next morning.

Chicken and Pecan Quiche
Serves 8-10

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/3 cup coconut oil

3 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 cups boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and chopped
3 drops Tabasco Sauce
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup onions, minced
1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F and adjust rack to middle position.  Place flour, cheese, pecans, salt, paprika, and coconut oil in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse 8-10 times until mixture comes together.  Pour mixture out into a round 10-inch tart pan and press dough evenly over the bottom and sides of the pan.  Place a sheet of parchment paper on top of the dough and fill with pie weights.  Bake for 10 minutes, remove pie weights and parchment paper and bake for an additional 5 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs, broth, sour cream, and mayonnaise in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the chicken, Tabasco, cheese, onion, and dill.  Pour into baked crust and sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped pecans.  Bake for 45 minutes until center is set. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

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Anonymous marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Thanks for teaching us about pastured eggs. There really is a huge difference in flavor and health benefits. Lovely quiche! xxoo

June 3, 2010 at 7:15 AM  
Anonymous Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Question I'm almost afraid to ask: I buy eggs that are labeled "cage free." Is that the same as pastured, or the same as the USDA definition of "free range"?

June 3, 2010 at 8:38 AM  
Anonymous Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Oh good, I did find them on this page: (it's the Farmhouse brand sold by Cal-Maine), so hopefully that is a good sign.

June 3, 2010 at 8:40 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

I love pastured eggs. Actually found some organic, free-range eggs at TJ's for $3.99. Can't beat that!

June 3, 2010 at 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Sharon Harvey said...

I had no idea that there was such differentiation among eggs or that pecans and chicken would taste good together in a quiche, but now I'm anxious to try both! thanks for the great post :)

June 3, 2010 at 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Denise @ Creative Kitchen said...

I love pastured eggs!! I am so blessed to have a local source from a very good friend of mine! I've seen her happy hens! This quiche looks delicious...I'm bookmarking it now. Thanks for sharing!

June 3, 2010 at 3:19 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

everyone who hasn't should google the term "cage free" and see pictures of what a large farm's "cage free" operation looks like- it ain't pretty. That term is a manipulation of an uninformed public.

June 4, 2010 at 11:00 AM  
Anonymous Nisrine@Dinners and Dreams said...

I wish I had the ingredients handy. I would have made this tonight. So beautiful!

June 4, 2010 at 2:12 PM  
Blogger Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I love quiche. It's my favorite summer food. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

June 5, 2010 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger innBrooklyn said...

That quiche looks delicious: i love the combination of dill and nuts which I would not have thought of: sounds delicious!
its great that you have always made the effort to find pastured eggs, i have a very easy time finding them in manhattan, especially since i work right by the farmer's market, but I am sure for many people it takes a lot of effort, and thats when most people probably give up.

June 7, 2010 at 7:10 AM  
Blogger LA said...

just made this quiche for some friends and it looks amazing! i used 0% Fage in place of sour cream, but other than that i followed the recipe exactly. i ended up with too much filling for my 9inch crust - wish i had used my 10 inch tart pan... other than that its really great!

July 11, 2010 at 7:30 AM  
Blogger Deliciously Organic said...

LA: Thanks for letting me know. I'll change the size of the pie/tart pan. Glad you enjoyed it!

July 26, 2010 at 6:47 AM  
Blogger Gail said...


I just made this recipe for my hubby and sister who spent the weekend with us and it was divine! I had a little left-over filling as well, but just put it in two little tart pans. We'll eat those for breakfast re-heated. I served it with fresh fruit and everyone loved it! Thanks for the great recipe!


July 27, 2010 at 11:29 AM  

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