Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Coddled Eggs

It isn’t so very often that I post a recipe for a breakfast item, is it? I mean, sure, who doesn't like breakfast, but it’s not exactly when the most inspired cooking takes place. (Okay, that's not entirely true now is it)

And yet, here I am about to chatter about coddled eggs. My newest mostest favorest (revisted from childhood) thing ever.

I have always been outrageously fond of a nice, soft boiled egg. Its just such a blissful morning moment. Crack it open, dip in the toast and imbibe in natural perfection.

Or so I thought.

But somehow I had forgotten over the years about that oh-so-chic little porcelain cup called an egg coddler (available for very reasonable prices on line from Royal Worchester, or at your finer department stores) in which you can basically soft boil an egg…with the addition of butter, and any and all flavorings you choose, gently infused into the egg! It’s so good, you may weep with happiness.

See? Thrilling variation on a seemingly tired theme. Is that not the best?
So tell me, and don't be shy, how do you like your eggs? With chives and parsley? How about doctored up with something roguish like anchovy and capers? Too strong for first thing in the day? Well, what about a nip of congac and some shaved truffles? Delightful decadance!

With a coddler, all these can be yours. The variations are limited by, well, what's in your larder I suppose (I am SO excited I just got to use the word 'larder' by the way, you just have no idea. I mean, first 'coddled' and then that...coo)

The set of coddlers (how much do you love that term! I love it! Coddled eggs. Awwww…..) I have were purchased in 1951 by my dashing father.

Just imagine a sophisticated young American man in London, there for the first time alone, sauntering into a little shop and purchasing these delicate items.

They are just so beautiful and make such a great dish, it's really no wonder he could not resist. The man loves two things, (other than his family of course!) birds (ergo the pattern on the coddlers) and eggs for breakfast. That is why they were an ideal purchase all that time ago. And lest you think they were mearly decorative trinkets one he got home, think again. He used them for years and years, until I spirited them away. (With his permission.)

And that I have them now makes me glow with happiness. Every time I coddle an egg, I have him to thank. And now (assuming you have run out an purchased your own) you can make them too!

I am including the most basic recipe for you to try, but should you be feeling ambitious, try separating the whites and yolks, then whipping the whites with the additions (whatever you choose, but salt and pepper at the very least) then adding the unbroken yolk back in before you coddle. Should that be too involved, try this, and enjoy!

Required equipment: 2 double egg coddlers

4 eggs
1 pat butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 small anchovy, minced
1 teaspoon capers, minced

Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the coddlers. Bring the water to a boil.

Meanwhile, lightly butter the inside of each coddler, and fill with two eggs each. Top with anchovy and capers, salt and pepper. Screw on the top tightly.

Gently lower the coddlers into the boiling water and let boil for 6-8 minutes. Remove from the water, wipe off, remove the lid and serve with buttered toast.

Serves two.


Happy Birthday Daddy!

An egg coddler is a porcelain cup with a lid. They have been manufactured by Royal Worcester in Worcester, UK since at least the 1890s, and were probably invented there.

People in the UK eat
10 billion eggs a year; that's 26 million every day, which placed end to end would reach from the earth to the moon.

White shelled eggs are produced by hens with white feathers and ear lobes. Brown shelled eggs are produced by hens with red feathers and red ear lobes. -


Hiya Rachel,

That top photo is delicious! Those egg coddlers are really gorgeous. It looks oh-so-chic indeed :)

I'm not much to fuss... i like eggs which ever way cooked and i mean cooked. I've seen them eaten raw and i can't quite bring myself to have it like that just yet.

Infact, i had egg mayonnaise with bacon sandwich for lunch today ;)
It's a shame we can't all sit down for nice, interesting breakfasts every day...I feel so much more relaxed when I make a 'real breakfast' :)
I have to say my favourite meal of the day has to be breakfast. There's something about sitting down at the start of the day for a good solid delicious meal, that is inspiring.

Thanks for this post, I had no idea what egg coddlers were until now. So again, thanks!
I am a freak of nature. I hate eggs. My loss.

I think it would be great to enjoy eggs and it would certainly make breakfast a more appealing meal (since the rest of the world loves and serves eggs for breakfast.)

I love the idea of egg-cessories too (ha ha...I'll be here all week folks!). Egg cups and egg coddlers would be cool to collect. Sorta classy.
Mae - your lunch sounds delicious too!

WMM - I agree!

JenJen - Glad I could help!

AiF - Coddler and egg cup collecting...hmmm...I may have a new hobby!
BTW, I entered that first photo in DMBLGIT this was a hard choice over the lemon curd or the greek pasta salad, but in the end, I thought this looked different and delicious.

Check out
and enter your own photo!
Thanks for your entry to DMBLGIT - have a look at all the entries here.

Great post - I am going to have to try to find one of those! I must say I never thought about chickens having earlobes before!
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