coddled eggs with foie gras {ffwd}

Chicken Liver Mousse

According to the dictionary, coddle means “to treat in an indulgent or overprotective way”. So, you might wonder, what does coddling have to do with eggs? If you intend to prepare the egg with foie gras, as we were challenged to do for French Fridays with Dorie this week, that’s certainly one way of being indulgent. However, I would argue foie gras counts as indulgent treatment for you, the eater, not for the egg itself.

I suppose we need to examine the second definition for coddle which is “to cook an egg in water below the boiling point”. That makes much more sense. This week’s recipe has you place pieces of foie gras mousse on the bottom of a ramekin, break an egg on top, spoon cream over the white, sprinkle with chopped tarragon and parsley, and steam it all over simmering water (i.e. coddle the egg).


OK, I’ll admit that I didn’t find foie gras mousse. I’ll also admit that I didn’t look that hard. My first stop was Trader Joe’s. I didn’t expect to find foie gras there, however, on my way to the cheese case, I spied some chicken liver mousse with truffles. It was only $5 for 7 oz. My pragmatic side told me that this was a fine substitute for the probably more elusive and certainly more expensive foie gras. I put it in the basket and never looked back.

Chicken Liver Mousse

Howard also scored a dozen freshly-laid eggs. There’s a tiny farm stand on his way to work, on the property of the former governor’s mansion. It’s one of our favorite sources for fresh eggs. Perfect for this dish (and any other).

Farm Fresh Eggs

Back to coddling… I’ve scrambled eggs, fried them, boiled them, poached them, and baked them. I had NEVER coddled them. I vaguely remember my grandmother having a beautiful set of porcelain egg coddlers with Victorian flowers painted on them, but she never prepared coddled eggs for me. I’m excited to discover this new preparation for eggs (with or without the pâté). It’s more elegant than poached, but less kitchen-warming than baked eggs on a hot day. I’ll definitely experiment with this technique again.

This recipe is in the Starter chapter of Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table, but I chose to serve this as the main event for dinner. An arugula and tomato salad and a piece of toast rounded out the plate. Howard and I both enjoyed the fancy eggs. Bella wanted some, but we didn’t succumb to her begging.

coddled eggs with foie gras dinner

The eggs only used half of the pâté. Even at a reasonable price, I didn’t want the leftovers to go to waste. No problem. I’ve recently fallen in love with the Vietnamese sandwiches, banh mi. The protein can be flexible to work with what you have around, like chicken or sliced steak, but my favorite is liver, typically leftover chopped liver. I’ll tell you my sandwich with the chicken liver mousse was outstanding.

To make your own, cut a roll in half and spread both halves with mayonnaise and sriracha. Place the protein on one half and top with sliced cucumber and springs of cilantro and basil (Thai basil is best). On the other half, spoon some pickled carrot and daikon and maybe some sliced jalapenos if you want more heat (these candied jalapenos are amazing). Put the two halves together, slice, and enjoy!

banh mi

If you want to make these eggs, you can find the recipe on-line here or in Dorie Greenspan’s book Around My French Table. To check out my Dorista friends’ eggs, follow the links to their posts here.

I’m really excited to be hanging out in New York City this weekend with some of my Dorista friends: Cher of The Not So Exciting Adventures of a Dabbler, Kathy of Bakeaway with Me, and Diane of Simple Living and Eating. Stay tuned for photos and stories of our adventures! Happy Weekend!


Posted on 18 July 2014, in Eggs, French Fridays with Dorie and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. INSANELY jealous of your NYC trip this weekend. Oh, and your eggs and banh mi look great too!

  2. Okay. Now you have me thinking about candied jalapeño.

    Looking forward to seeing you in a few hours! It is going to be one truly French Friday indeed, isn’t it?


  3. Your eggs turned out great, and chicken liver pate is a great substitute for foie gras. I’ll take your tip re using leftovers – I have plenty.

  4. Your eggs turned out perfect, and using chicken liver pate was a great idea. We enjoyed
    the recipe even though my eggs were over cooked, but they had a wonderful flavor all around. Sorry we are not joining you ladies in Manhattan this time, but I know you will have
    a ball.

  5. Your version of the coddled eggs looks FAB and love your sandwich!

  6. Wow, those sandwiches looks amazing. I think I’d rather have that than the eggs again. Though, it is apparent that I need to work on my coddling technique.

    Have fun in NYC! The rest of us are quite jealous.

  7. Looks like your eggs and your sandwiches were a success! I’ve never made banh mi but we love to get them from a tiny little shop here in OKC.You make it sound so easy maybe we will try them. I agree that eggs cooked this way are delicious!

  8. Betsy, what a great post. I loved your enthusiasm about the coddled eggs. I think I would be happier to bake mine. With the farmers market here in full swing, I now have access to farm fresh eggs also. My Clara (you know, the “I want to raise chickens” 11-year-old) is in charge of an entire chicken coop this Summer and gathers eggs everyday. She delivers about 25 cartons to a local market every week. What I really enjoyed was hearing about your love of Banh Mi. I only have had it twice, ordering it when I am out for lunch. Today I got a notice from Amazon that there is an entire Banh Mi cookbook coming out this month. Who knew? Cannot wait to hear about your week-end in NYC.

  9. Ok, love the eggs but I really want that sandwich :) Great use of the left overs. And I love your comment about putting the moused in the basket and never looking back. Well done. So sorry Nana and I missed out on the NYC adventures this weekend. Can not wait to hear about the fun you all had and I look forward to a raincheck. Both boys are attending BU so either Philly or Boston will give us opportunities for catching up :)

  10. I love seeing all the different substitutions made for the foie gras. It seems like any kind of pate would work and still be in the spirit of the recipe. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  11. I’m looking forward to seeing photos from your weekend in NY. How fun! I’m glad you enjoyed the eggs. Having really fresh eggs seems to make everything taste better!

  12. You had me at banh mi! Now that’s something I can really get into!! What a great idea. I have to come back and grab that recipe.I’ve got a ton of Thai basil, so that will be fun!!
    As for the eggs, yours look delicious, and I’m happy that you both enjoyed. I thought that they were good, but merely ok. I did forget my truffle salt, I’m sure that would have helped.

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