This isn’t the first time I’ve made a Turkish Eggs recipe, Dan Doherty’s slant on the classic cilbir, pronounced chulburr, was my first post way back at the beginning of Pigley’s Kitchen in 2018. For my weekly, essential grocery shop, I ventured to a world food shop for a store cupboard restock. While there, it would have been a disservice to the nation of Turkey not to pick up some of the freshly baked bread. It’s just so perfect. From the crisp, thin crust to the fluffy interior, it is the perfect accompaniment to Turkish Eggs. It is also great with shakshuka, or as croutons.. well you get the idea.
The fundamentals of Nigella’s recipe remain the same. Poached eggs, lukewarm yoghurt and a faintly spicy butter. I cannot stress how much nicer the Turkish Eggs is than the sum of its parts. Who can argue against alchemy before noon. Where Doherty fries diced chorizo to give the butter it’s ruby hue, Nigella eschews the delicious meat in favour of browning the butter. The smell of browning butter filled the kitchen with the aroma of freshly baked malted milks. While lovely, the olfactory illusion of malted milks was not as nice as the tangible chorizo. Alas I am trying to reduce my meat consumption again, so Nige’s vegetarian option was welcome.
Nigella includes lots of directions on trying to get the best poached eggs and not being disheartened by messy results. Most of have not worked the brunch station at a busy restaurant so our imperfect poached eggs are perfectly fine.
I fell at the last hurdle. There was dill at the world food store, but it came in such large bunches that I knew most would go to waste. Out of my parsley, coriander or mint selection – I substituted Nigella’s dill for Dan Doherty’s mint. It was still delicious and lifted the whole creamy affair.
In this battle of the Turkish Eggs that no-one except perhaps me and Felicity Cloake might care about, everyone is a winner. The little nuggets of chorizo are absolutely delicious, and the added texture is welcome in what is a very soft dish. On the other hand, Nigella’s recipe is lighter and meat-free. I didn’t have the same indigestion one can get when they fry chorizo in butter and drizzle it all over their breakfast. Make both, make either – just don’t make neither.
Nigella has kindly posted this recipe on nigella.com, but it’s also in At My Table.