The Southern Fried Chicken Farmer

Free-rangers, Salted & Styled: “Like the chickens they raise, no two farmers are alike.  But they are linked together as quirky characters who share in the pride that comes from a single egg.”  Photography by Chia Chong.

It’s a scene straight out of our region’s past: clucking livestock meandering through the yard.  Maybe it’s also a hopeful sign of our future: sustainable food production on a household-by-household basis.  But one thing is for certain: Savannahians’ affection for our chickens and roosters is matched only by our passion for eccentricity and self expression.

Salted & Styled’s Libbie Summers created this warm and comforting dish, enriched by the flavor of blue crabs harvested from a single trap tied off a backyard dock, just 50 paces from the chicken house.

Mornings in Savannah

(Baked Eggs and Blue Crab)

Serves 2 to 3

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon heavy cream

5 large eggs

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme

4 ounces freshly cooked Jumbo Lump blue crabmeat, loosely broken up

¼ teaspoon Old Bay® seasoning

Freshly ground black pepper

Toasted bread, for dipping and sopping

Place the oven rack on the first shelf, and preheat the oven to broil.

Add the butter and cream to the bottom of a shallow baking dish, such as a stoneware braising pan or cast iron skillet.  Place the pan under the broiler until the butter and cream mixture is hot and bubbly, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

Keeping the yolks intact, break each egg into individual bowls then set aside.  In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, parsley and thyme. Set aside.

Once the butter and cream mixture is hot and bubbly, remove the pan from the oven. Working quickly, carefully pour the five eggs into the pan.  Sprinkle the tops of the eggs with the herb mixture then the lump crab meat. Sprinkle the eggs with Old Bay® seasoning and pepper.

Place the pan back under the broiler and cook until the egg whites are nearly cooked through and opaque, approximately 4 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow the eggs to set for one minute before serving.  Serve hot with toast for dipping.

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