Beyond My Skill Level: Birds in a Nest

I thought this Monday we could get back to Everything Rachael Ray basics: a post about how I can't cook am learning how to cook using Rachael's recipes. I made this recipe awhile ago and it is perfect for a weekend breakfast (if you have the skills to pull it off).

Okay, please don't make fun of me. I seriously have so many troubles with this recipe, Birds in a Nest, which looks and sounds so easy! Either the egg white doesn't cook completely or I completely overcook it so that yolk is hard. This recipe can be found in Cooking 'Round the Clock. Reviews on the Food Network show that others figured it out!

After much trial and error, I ended up with an edible one. Here's the recipe for 6 servings with my comments in brackets

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
1 large clove garlic, cracked
6 big, thick slices crusty Italian semolina bread
6 extra large eggs
1 (6-ounce) jar roasted red pepper [I use whatever I have in the fridge. This time I used some chopped salami.]
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated cheese, Parmesan or Romano

Place a very large nonstick skillet over low heat. Add the oil and garlic clove into the skillet and gently infuse the garlic flavor into the oil. [This is the easy part. Even I don't mess this up.]

In the meantime, using a round cookie cutter or an empty can, cut out the center of all 6 slices of bread. [Maybe I need a cookie cutter or can, because I think part of my problem initially was creating a hole that was too small.]

Add the prepared bread slices to the garlic infused oil. Crack the eggs 1 at a time and drop them into their "nests" or, the center of each slice of bread. Drain and slice red pepper. Add a strip or 2 of red pepper to each nest. Season the birds in their nests with salt and pepper and sprinkle a little cheese into each nest. Gently turn the birds in their nests and turn off the heat. [My main problem is figuring out when to turn them. Do some of you just know this stuff? Geez. But the more of them I made (and threw away) the better I got. I won't give up!]

Let the eggs sit in their nests 5 minutes more, then transfer to a platter and serve. [Maybe I had the heat turned up too high, but after 5 minutes, the nest was usually completely burned. So next time I will turn down the heat and maybe tent it? Sigh.]


  1. I've made these in the past, I didn't know Rachael had an episode making these! I can never get it right- I guess I overcook it, because the yolk is always cooked through (and I love my eggs overeasy). I will try what you suggested though! Thanks!

  2. It's so good to know it's not just me. They say eggs are the first class in culinary school and you spend forever on them, which makes me think maybe it's not as easy as one would think.

    Let me know if you figure out the secret....

  3. Well I haven't tried it... but want to, I LOVE eggs!! I find eggs are not my specialty either.. maybe i'll get my bf to cook this recipe.. he's great at eggs :)

  4. Can he come to my house and make them for me too? It's not that far from Toronto to California!

  5. I made this before, without the salami. It was from Tyler Florence's "How to Boil Water" on Food Network. He called it Frog in a Hole. That show is for beginners, so he talked me through it nice and easy. It took me a couple to get the hang of it, too!

  6. I would let Tyler Florence talk me through lots of things nice and easy. Oops. Forgot this was a family blog for a second there!

    Thanks, Jessica. I will keep my eye out for that episode. I am sure I will get it one of these days.

  7. On Rachel Ray's 30 min meals, she grills the bread on one side, flips them, *then* puts in the eggs.

    Also, she cooks the eggs on low heat with a sheet of aluminum foil over the eggs so they cook evenly.

    We're going to try to make this tonight. Crossing our fingers it works!

  8. Thanks Tammy! Maybe I didn't have the heat low enough....

  9. By the way, I just read about this recipe on and she suggested frying it, then putting it under the broiler to keep from having to flip it. (Oven proof pan/cast iron pan suggested.)

  10. Stranger - I just learned about Pinch My Salt through the Food Blog Awards - what a great site.

    I should sit down with a notepad and take some notes on how to do it!


Thanks for leaving a comment! Reading comments and responding to them is one of my favorite parts of having a blog, so thanks for contributing.