We call this “Dilemma Pie” because which comes first – the chicken or the egg? You could also call it a crustless quiche, or mabe just a keto-quiche. What ever you call it – it’s something that Uncle Smokey likes because there aren’t too many dishes afterwards! The how-to video is up on our YouTube channel.
Since all humans are recent introductions to the Southwestern biota,* we could call this a Southwestern dish!
* Science Nerd Notes
Humans have been in the Southwest for roughly 20,000 years. That is a mere blip on the world’s total age of 4+ billion years.
Honestly though, this is based on an old recipe I got in 1960’s in the produce section of my local Tucson A.J. Bayless Supermarket down on West Congress. “Mrs. Bayless” offered a new recipe card each week, and I collected many of those cards – being the main cook for our family from the tender age of seven.
A.J. Bayless store is gone now, but it was a wonder and delight back in the day. There was a massive fresh vegetable section and a sparkling meat counter that my grandmother would stop by and peruse the selections. The butcher was a friendly gentleman, and always asked if “Mrs. M.” liked the chicken or roast or whatever Grandma had bought the previous week. Not sure how many customers he had, but he remembered my grandmother.
After shopping, we would go home and paste the Gold Bond stamps into the stamp books. I still have – and use – the harvest gold blender “purchased” with several books of those stamps. It’s a real workhorse with a nice long power cord, unlike modern appliances. The only “repair” has been a new rubber gasket for the blender top (purchased for about 2 bucks from,, now sadly gone, Lowery Hardware store).
Back to the main story line about this “pie.” I make notes on my recipe cards, and over time have changed the original recipe to match our tastes. I have also reduced the salt used. So here is my take on an old-ish Arizona recipe.
Preheat oven to 350 to 425F.
We were going to bake some rolls that needed 425 so that’s what we used once and it also worked. And the meal was ready five minutes faster.
2 small chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes (about 2 cups chicken) 6 whole eggs 2 cups soft cheese – use sour cream, cottage cheese, or Ricotta as is done in the video. 1 teaspoon salt – less if it is a salty cheese 4 Tablespoons fresh herbs, diced. I used garlic chives and oregano in the video - or use 2 Tablespoons dried herbs, crumbled into the mixture 1 cup shredded cheese to top oil or cooking spray to coat pan
optional extras – ½ cup diced green chiles, or mushrooms, or both. Also good with vegetables like peppers, sauteed onions, bok choy, even kale if you like it.
Great way to use foraged greens such as mustard greens, cheeseweed, peppergrass.
Step 1. Place the soft cheese in the mixing bowl.
Step 2. Add the eggs and blend
Step 3. Add the herbs, salt, and chicken.
Step 4. Add optional extras.
Step 5. Pour into greased cooking dish. We used a 10 inch cast iron skillet.
Step 6. Top with shredded cheese.
Step 7. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes in 425F oven. 25 minutes at 350F.
Let cool slightly before eating so you don’t burn your mouth.
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