Move over scotch egg–you’ve met your match with the crispy duck egg, breaded and fried with a bright yellow center and served over diced Jerusalem artichokes, rich pieces of cured duck breast, sliced hazelnuts, and a warm, buttery purée.
I am a fan of the scotch egg. Not only is it delicious, it is so labour-intensive to make that I never feel like I’m spending money on something that I could have made better at home. I was determined to have one on a recent trip to London, as London is the birthplace of the scotch egg (the London department store Fortnum & Mason claims to have invented them in 1738). There seemed no better place to do this than the Harwood Arms, the only pub in London whose food has earned it the distinction of a Michelin star.
Our friends had gotten us a table at the Harwood Arms two weeks in advance, but as fate would have it they didn’t have scotch eggs on the menu the day we went. They did have something called a crispy duck egg, which I ordered as a consolation prize, but the extremely kind folks at the Harwood Arms also whipped up a homemade scotch egg for me so I could taste both of these rich treats in a single glorious sitting during what turned out to be a incredibly splendorous 3-hour brunch.
To my surprise and delight, the crispy duck egg far surpassed the scotch!
Much like a scotch egg, the crispy duck egg is breaded and deep fried to perfection so the white is nice and firm and the yolk is both thick and runny. In lieu of a sausage coating, this lovely concoction is paired with crispy wisps of thinly sliced hazelnuts, crunchy white Jerusalem artichokes, and pieces of cured duck breast that read like rich and flavourful bacon, all of which is served atop a delectable white purée that tastes something like a mixture of béchamel, mashed potatoes, and melted butter (I am sure I asked what this was, but the Bloody Marys at the Harwood Arms are regrettably also quite delcious..).
The result was harmony on all levels – taste, texture, and colour. A beautiful, rich, truly exquisite dish.