The Chickens Are (Finally!) Laying

Our older chickens molted early, and our younger ones finally figured out the whole egg-laying thing, so we are flush with eggs of many colors and sizes:


Despite the short hours of daylight, we've been able to turn the light on for the girls, and now they're averaging about three eggs per day. We suddenly find ourselves with two dozen eggs in the fridge. This comes at a great time: Wednesday is Pie Day, and holiday baking will be in full force immediately thereafter. 

In the meantime, quiche is one of the quickest ways to blow through a bunch of eggs, so that's what Kirk made for dinner. This was a Cheddar Bacon Broccoli Quiche, and it was outstanding:


Cheddar Bacon Broccoli Quiche

For the pastry:
6 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. shortening
1 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup vodka

For the filling:
4 strips of bacon
1 medium onion
1 cup chopped broccoli
4 eggs
1 cup half and half
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheddar
a pinch of thyme
a pinch of mace
salt and pepper to taste

1. Put flour in a food processor and add bits of cold butter and shortening. Pulse the food processor until you have a coarse meal.

2. Slowly add vodka until the dough sticks together. This will be wetter than your average pie dough, but the alcohol evaporates and leaves behind perfect pastry. Just ask America's Test Kitchen.

3. You can chill the pastry if you want, but it's not necessary if your vodka was already in the fridge or freezer.

4. Chop the bacon and fry it, then drain, reserving 1 Tbs. of bacon fat

5. Chop the onion and sauté it in the reserved bacon fat. 

6. Steam broccoli for 3 minutes in the microwave, then squeeze excess liquid into onions as they cook down.

7. Blind bake the crust for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.

8. Whisk together eggs, half and half, and milk, then stir in remaining spices. 

9. When the crust is ready, layer half the cheddar cheese, bacon, onions, broccoli. Repeat the layers with the remainder. 

10. Pour the custard mixture over the filling and bake for 20 minutes at 425 degrees. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

11. Allow to cool 20 minutes before serving.

The kids liked this so much that they each had two pieces, which means they are officially eating us out of house and home. I had to hide it away to save some for my lunch tomorrow. Looks like we'll be having this again soon. Despite the length of the directions, it's actually easy to make (thanks in so small part to the foolproof pastry), and you can switch up the filling based on available ingredients.

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