- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 12 quail’s eggs at room temperature (see tip below)
- 500g sausagemeat
- 10 thyme sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- 75g caramelised onion chutney
- 50g plain flour
- 2 hen’s eggs
- 100g fresh breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil or sunflower oil, for frying
Fill a large pan with water and bring to the boil. Fill a bowl with cold water and add the vinegar. Lower the quail’s eggs into the boiling water with a slotted spoon and cook for 2 mins. Scoop out the eggs, plunge them into the vinegar water and leave to cool for at least 20 mins, or drain and chill for up to 24 hrs.
In a large bowl, mash the sausagemeat, thyme and chutney until well combined. Drain and carefully peel the eggs. They should be softly boiled, so will be delicate – try not to break the egg white as you peel them.
Spread the flour over a plate. Whisk the hen’s eggs in a wide, shallow bowl and tip the breadcrumbs into a third dish. Divide the sausage mixture into 12 patties. Take one patty and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Put a peeled egg in the centre and carefully wrap the patty around the egg to completely enclose it. Roll in flour, then egg, then the breadcrumbs. Continue with the remaining 11 eggs, then chill for at least 30 mins, or overnight.
Half-fill a large pan with oil, heat to 180C on a thermometer, or until a cube of bread browns in 45 secs. Gently drop in a few eggs, making sure you don’t overcrowd the pan, and cook for 3 mins or until deep golden brown and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a tray lined with kitchen paper, and sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Serve warm or cold. Will keep in the fridge for 1 day.
Egg freshnessDid you know, as eggs get older, the liquid inside evaporates through their porous shells, creating an air bubble between the albumen and the shell wall. This means that when you boil slightly older eggs, they will be easier to peel as the air bubble is larger - helpful when dealing with delicate softly boiled eggs.