21 May 2010

Savory chicken-tomato-cheese “cake”

For apéritifs with Ladybird and her friends from Belgium Wednesday evening, I made a savory cake with cheese, chicken, and sun-dried tomatoes. By "savory cake" I mean a cake that has no sugar in it at all. You could call it a loaf or a bread. The recipe is below.

Thanks to Jennifer of the blog Chez Loulou for the idea. In a comment on my blog a few days ago, she mentioned a similar cake using chicken and dried apricots. That sounded good, but I didn't have any apricots so I used dried tomatoes with a good result. Last week, I made a similar cake (or loaf) with bacon and olives in it.

Cheesy chicken and sun-dried tomato loaf

We had had a chicken for lunch the day before, so I used the leftover roasted chicken breast in the cake rather than cook a boneless chicken breast especially for the recipe. I also had three thin slices of French bacon — very lean, smokey "back bacon" — so I cut those up into slivers and added them to the cake batter with the chicken, tomatoes, and cheese.

The loaf is cheesy and savory.

Here's the recipe I came up with:
Savory chicken-tomato-cheese “cake”

1¼ cups (150 g) flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. dried mixed herbs
½ cup
(120 ml) olive oil or other vegetable oil
½ cup (125 ml) plain yogurt or milk
3 eggs
1 shallot
1 cooked chicken breast (200 g)
3 oz.
(100 g) sun-dried tomatoes
3 slices bacon (optional)
3 oz.
(100 g) grated cheese
salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 350ºF/180ºC.

Butter (or oil) and flour a loaf pan and set it aside.

Dice up the shallot and cook it in a skillet in a little oil just until softened.

Dice or shred the cooked chicken breast — cook a fresh breast or use half the breast of a roasted chicken.

Cut the bacon into slivers. If you prefer, you can blanch or pre-cook the bacon, but it's not necessary— cut into fine slivers, it will cook in the cake batter as the loaf bakes in the oven. You can substitute a slice or two of ham (jambon blanc) or other cured meat for the bacon if you want, or not use it at all.

Soak the sun-dried tomatoes in water to rehydrate them if necessary, and then chop them into small pieces. (If they are packed in oil, just chop them.)

Grate the cheese (Gruyère, Comté, or other Swiss-style cheese, or even cheddar — whatever you like.)
Here's a close-up to show the texture of the cake.
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and dried herbs together in a big bowl. Add the oil, yogurt (or milk), eggs, and grated cheese, and stir to blend well. When you have a smooth batter, fold in the chopped shallot (along with the oil it cooked in, for the flavor) and the chopped chicken, bacon (optional), and sun dried tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until done. Test with a wooden skewer to make sure the cake is cooked all the way through. Let it cool completely in the pan before you slice it.
This is a cake that you can cut into cubes or slices and serve at apéritif time. It's good with chilled white or rosé wine — still or sparkling. It's also good at lunch time — serve a thick slice with a good green or mixed salad.

It would also be good with sauteed mushrooms in it, I think.

7 comments:

  1. Ken, this looks delicious. I am going to make it for our guests this Saturday - and we're keeping our fingers crossed that the fine weather holds and we can BBQ.

    It's a beautiful day here today and warm, too.

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  2. Yes, with a green salad would be perfect for lunch. I am enjoying these savory cakes from afar.

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  3. Yum! If it's half as tasty as it looks (and I'm sure it's even tastier), it's sure to be a hit. Did your guests enjoy it?

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  4. Hi Susan, it was good. Ladybird told me that her friends from Brussels asked her if they thought I might give them the recipe. Of course I did, by putting it on the blog.

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  5. Don't know how I missed this until today...
    Love this recipe! And I almost always have these ingredients in the house. Merci Ken!

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  6. Hi Jennifer, I can see how you might miss a few posts when you are as busy as you much be these days. Hope you enjoy the cake if you get a chance to make it soon.

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