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Eggs in Spicy Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce for Two (Shakshuka)

Published March 2019

Why This Recipe Works

The North African dish shakshuka (eggs poached in tomato sauce flavored with peppers, spices, and garlic) makes a great meal any time—if you can get the eggs to cook properly. For the sauce, we blended whole peeled tomatoes and jarred roasted red peppers for a mix of sweetness, smokiness, and acidity. Adding pita bread helped prevent the silky-smooth sauce from weeping. A combination of garlic, tomato paste, and ground spices created the distinct flavor profile we were after. To ensure that the eggs cooked just right, we added them to the skillet off the heat, cooked them in a smooth rather than chunky sauce for more even heat transfer, and covered the whites with sauce just after adding them to the pan to help speed their cooking. Covering the eggs created a steamy environment that quickly cooked them from both above and below. Chopped fresh cilantro, crumbled feta, and sliced kalamata olives on top provided brightness, texture, and contrasting flavor.

2 (8-inch) pita breads, divided
1 (14-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes, drained
1 ½ cups jarred roasted red peppers, drained
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 ½ teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon table salt
teaspoon pepper
teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 large eggs
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
2 tablespoons pitted kalamata olives, sliced
Nutritional Information

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Instructions

Serves 2

Served with pita bread to scoop up the eggs and sauce, and a green salad, Shakshuka makes a satisfying brunch, lunch, or dinner. The shallow indentations made in the sauce in step 3 are intended to cradle the yolks and to ensure even placement of the eggs. Don't be concerned if the whites run together. If you have a glass lid for your skillet, this is a great place to use it. If not, feel free to peek at the eggs frequently as they cook.

Total Time: 1 hour

1. Cut enough pita bread into ½-inch pieces to make ¼ cup (about one-eighth of 1 pita bread). Cut remaining pita breads into wedges for serving. Process pita pieces, tomatoes, and half of red peppers in blender until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Cut remaining red peppers into ¼-inch pieces and set aside.

2. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 1 minute. Add tomato paste, coriander, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, until rust-colored and fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato–red pepper puree and reserved red peppers (mixture may sputter) and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to maintain simmer; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened (spatula will leave trail that slowly fills in behind it, but sauce will still slosh when skillet is shaken), 6 to 8 minutes.

3. Remove skillet from heat. Using back of spoon, make 4 shallow dime-size indentations in sauce. Crack 1 egg into small bowl and pour into 1 indentation (it will hold yolk in place but not fully contain egg). Repeat with remaining 3 eggs. Spoon sauce over edges of egg whites so that whites are partially covered and yolks are exposed.

4. Bring to simmer over medium heat (there should be small bubbles across entire surface). Reduce heat to maintain simmer. Cover and cook until yolks film over, 3 to 4 minutes. Continue to cook, covered, until whites are softly but uniformly set (if skillet is shaken lightly, each egg should jiggle as a single unit), 1 to 2 minutes longer. Off heat, sprinkle with cilantro, feta, and olives. Serve immediately, passing pita wedges separately.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.