Thursday, February 5, 2009

Birds in a Nest

Birds in a Nest or Egg in the Hole, is a simple dish - just an egg, fried into the center of a slice of bread and finished with a sprinkle with bacon.
Birds in a Nest or Egg in the Hole, is a simple dish - just an egg, fried into the center of a slice of bread and finished with a sprinkle with bacon.

Birds in a Nest

This isn't really a "recipe," but I had this for breakfast this morning and it's so darned good I knew I had to post it. If you haven't had one of these in awhile, I hope this will serve as a reminder for you to make one! It's a great thing to cook with your kids too, because they are just fascinated with the whole idea of cookin' an egg in the middle of a slice of bread.

So, I give you Birds in a Nest, the way I make 'em, though this simple little dish actually goes by a number of names - Egg in a Nest, Birdseye, Bulls-eye  Buckeyes, Popeye, Egg in Toast, Camp Eggs, Egg in a Frame, Sunshine Toast, Toad in a Hole, One Eyed Jack, "Gas House" (service station) Eggs, Eggs in a Basket - and a whole host of other odd names, and everybody seems to have their own way of doin' them too. Me, I just call mine Bird in a Nest, but whatever you call it, make one because not only is it super for breakfast, but ya know, it even works great for a quick lunch, breakfast for dinner or even as a snack, and the kids will dig them too.

First we gotta start with cookin' up some bacon. I don't eat these very often, but when I do I really love to fry the bread in the bacon drippings. Yes I know, not the healthiest thing in the world, but you gotta admit. Everything is better with bacon, right? Once that's done, set it aside to cool and then crumble the bacon while your Birds in a Nest are cooking.

Then grab a slice of bread, or if you have some homemade bread, cut a fairly thick slice.

Remove the bacon set it aside and add a pat of butter right to the bacon drippings.

Use a biscuit cutter or a glass or whatever you have, to cut out the center of each slice of bread.

I used a 2-1/2 inch biscuit cutter for this size hole. You can either save that cut-out in your freezer to use as bread crumbs, or most of us just toast it alongside the bread in the pan. Top off the center of the egg with the toasted round when you serve it, and you have a Egg with a Hat!

Place the bread slice into the hot drippings.

And break one egg into the center.

Season with salt and pepper. If you prefer your yolk to be fully cooked through, once it begins to set slightly on the underside, just break up the yolk with a fork or the tip of your spatula.

If you don't want your yolk cooked through, once it begins to set on the bottom and the bread is toasted, turn it with a spatula. I prefer my yolk runny. The Cajun will gag if his is runny. They say that opposites attract don't they?

Remove from the pan and sprinkle the top with crumbled bacon...

...and dive in!

Recipe: Birds in a Nest

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min
Total time: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 slices of bacon, for garnish
  • 4 slices of thick bread
  • 4 large eggs
  • Butter, salt & pepper

Cook the bacon to crisp. Remove and set aside. While the bacon is cooking, use a biscuit cutter to cut the centers out of each slice of bread. Save the centers for bread crumbs or just toast them along side the bread in the pan and you can use 'em to dip into your yolk. Place each slice of bread into the hot bacon grease and break one egg into the center hole. If you prefer your yolk to be set and not runny, allow the egg to set slightly, then scramble up the middle a bit so that the yolk will begin to cook and allow it to cook a bit more before flipping. Lift the edge of the bread to see if it's toasted enough and then turn it to cook the other side. Remove from the pan, crumble one slice of bacon on top and enjoy!

To Bake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter both sides of bread, place on foil lined, rimmed baking sheet and cut out centers. Bake for about 5-6 minutes, or until underside is lightly browned, turn, crack eggs into center, piercing yolks, sprinkle with bacon and return to oven, continuing to cook until egg is set, about 6-7 minutes longer.

Cook’s Notes: Substitute about 1/2 cup of chopped, smoked ham for the bacon. May also top with a pinch of shredded cheese.

Grilled Cheese Bird in a Nest: Prepare bacon as above. Add bread to skillet, top with your favorite cheese, sprinkle with bacon all around the edges of sandwich, top with additional cheese and top with second slice of bread. Cook until lightly browned on both sides. Remove, cut out circle in center of sandwich and return to skillet. Crack egg into hole and continue cooking until nicely browned on both side and egg is cooked.

Turkey and Asparagus Variation: Substitute thinly sliced, strips of smoked turkey breast for the bacon and add some asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds and freshly steamed to crisp tender for about 3 minutes. Saute the turkey with a small amount of butter, then add the steamed asparagus. Cook the bread and egg, top each serving with the asparagus and turkey mixture.

Eggs in a Bird's Nest: Substitute hash browns for the toast. Scatter hash browns on a silpat covered rimmed baking pan, making a space in the center. Cook halfway according to package directions. Remove from oven, crack egg into center and return to oven to finish cooking.


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on February 5, 2009
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  1. My 2 boys learned to make these in home economics a few years back and they called them "eggs in a frame". We love them at our house.

  2. My dad used to make these for me when I was a little kid, I thought they were too fun! I havent had one in a long time! My dad used to call them toad in a hole :)

  3. I just knew this would stir some memories!

    I have heard the toad in a hole too, but ya know... I never could quite figure that one out LOL!

    Thanks everyone for stoppin' by. Hope you make one for yourself and have your own blast from the past!!

  4. Hey Mary, my mom always called them Egg in the basket. I haven't had one in a long time! But had to tell ya, I love the bacon idea of crumbling em' up on top! thanks


  5. Hey Brandi! You know how we are in the south about our bacon LOL!! You should make these this weekend with your kids!

  6. Hard to go wrong with bacon and eggs!

  7. Our family calls them, "Egg in a hole". We had these as children and have passed them down to our children, and now, our grandchildren. They always seemed a special treat. Now, we have to add the bacon because we always used butter:)

  8. Making this now! What a quick and yummy breakfast. Found you through pinterest. Thanks!

    1. Welcome Lisa! It's a pretty good breakfast for ushering in spring don't you think?

  9. Making this now! So quick and yummy. Found you through pinterest. Thanks!

  10. My girlfriend taught me how to make these about 45 years ago, and she called them "One Eyed Egyptians".

    1. I've heard One-eyed Jack but this one is new to me!

  11. This is excellent. I don’t know why I never thought of crumbled bacon over the top. We call these “Popeye’s.” I make them like French toast. Having bacon on the side is one thing, but crisp bacon crumbles over the top, is over the top. Thank you.


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