Shirred eggs, or "oeufs en cocotte", is the traditional French way of baking eggs in individual dishes or “cocottes”. The richness of the duck eggs is enhanced by the fresh butter and heavy cream in this recipe which, due to the ease of cooking and sophisticated presentation, is a wonderful way to prepare eggs for a large group for a holiday brunch just by doubling, tripling, or quadrupling the recipe.
There are many variations of this recipe which use herbs, cheeses, and even meats in the ramekins, but I prefer to keep it simple with just a bit of fresh tarragon - an herb that pairs very well with eggs - and some buttered bread crumbs on top.
Shirred Eggs with Tarragon
4 duck eggs (you can substitute 4 chicken eggs if you wish)
2 T heavy cream
Fresh tarragon, coarsely chopped, plus extra reserved for garnish, optional
Salt and white pepper
2 T Panko bread crumbs
½ teaspoon butter plus more to grease ramekins
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter the inside of the ramekins. Pour the cream around the edges, then break two eggs side by side into each dish. Sprinkle with tarragon and season with salt and pepper.
Melt the ½ teaspoon butter and stir in the breadcrumbs with a fork to combine. Top the eggs with the crumbs. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until the whites are just set. For a firmer yolk, bake for several minutes more. Let sit for several minutes then serve warm. Garnish with additional tarragon, if desired.
This recipe is excerpted from my book Duck Eggs Daily: Raising Happy, Healthy Ducks...Naturally (St. Lynn's Press, 2015) and may not be copied or republished without proper copyright credit being given back to the original source.
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