Coddled duck eggs with ham and chives

Serves 4

Also known as oeufs en cocotte, this dish seems to have disappeared off restaurant and dinner-party menus. I'm not really sure why, as it's the perfect breakfast or brunch dish. Perhaps it's time for a revival?

4 duck eggs
Butter for greasing
120ml double cream
A couple of thick slices of good-quality ham, finely chopped
1tbsp finely chopped chives
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 5. Grease some ramekins or similar with a little butter and carefully crack an egg into each dish. Place the ramekins in a roasting tin containing about 3cm of boiling water and bake in an oven for 7-8 minutes or until just set.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the cream to the boil with the ham and chives, season and simmer until it thickens.

Transfer the ramekins to small side plates or similar and spoon the cream mixture on top and serve immediately.

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