This hearty breakfast skillet has it all – crispy potatoes, eggs, bacon and loads of other toppings! All made together in one cast iron skillet.
We had some gorgeous weather here in Northern VA last week. Normally at this time of the year it’s very hot and very humid and we’re all holed up indoors where there’s some air-conditioned relief. This year, however, our 4th of July weather couldn’t have been more perfect – mid to upper ’70’s, no humidity, not a cloud in the sky.
Which, of course, made me crave something hearty for breakfast. During these hot summer months my breakfasts are typically nothing more than a smoothie or a healthy green juice – it’s just too hot for my usual voracious appetite. And who wants to cook over a hot stove when it’s 95 degrees outside? I’d kept all the windows open overnight and when we woke up it was only 65 degrees in the house with sunny skies all-around. And so I got making this yummy breakfast skillet.
I crisped some bacon in my cast-iron skillet (nothing else will do when it comes to bacon!), drained the grease and added my potatoes. This is the easiest method for cooking potatoes (it comes from Jacques Pepin) and it is sooo good. Feel free to make just the potatoes and stop there – the potatoes are crispy on the bottom and soft on the top – they make a terrific side dish. But I didn’t want to stop there, I had a hearty breakfast skillet in mind.
Start with teeny, tiny baby potatoes, the smallest you can find. Lay them in the skillet in one layer. You’re going to add some chicken stock to your pan, too, enough to come about halfway up the sides of the potatoes. Then cover and cook for about 5 minutes or so. Remove cover, add some butter and let it melt onto and into the potatoes. Allow all of the liquid to evaporate – that’s when you’ll hear the potatoes starting to sizzle. Which means they’re starting to brown, which means they’re about to turn into something heavenly. You’ll gently press down each potato to flatten them slightly, giving them a nice flat bottom so they can really crisp up. Like I said, you can stop here and eat to your heart’s content if you wish.
After this, things speed up significantly. Pour over some beaten eggs, finish cooking in the oven, pull it out then add all your toppings. Cheese goes on first so it has time to melt thoroughly. Then feel free to add whatever toppings you like. We prefer bacon around these parts but sausage would be fantastic, too.
What is it about one-pan breakfast skillets that is so appealing? Less dishes to wash, of course. Not having to keep any eye on three pans on the stove is also nice. And there’s just something satisfying about slicing this hearty breakfast into pieces and knowing that it’s all there – the meat, the potatoes, the eggs. What’s not to love about that?
You can cook your bacon in the cast-iron skillet first, then just set bacon aside and discard grease. No need to wipe out the skillet, just add your potatoes and start cooking.
- 2 pounds tiny baby potatoes (the tiniest you can find)
- 1-2 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock or broth
- 4 T unsalted butter
- 6 large eggs, beaten well with 1 T water
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Place one layer of baby potatoes in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, fitting slightly snugly. Pour chicken stock over potatoes just until halfway up their sides. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, cover skillet and cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove cover from skillet and cook another 5 minutes. Cut butter into four pieces and lay each piece of butter in a different spot over the potatoes, allowing to melt. DO NOT STIR. Keep cooking until all liquid has evaporated and you hear a sizzling sound - that sound means that the potatoes are now starting to brown.Using something flat-bottomed (I use a tamper but anything flat-bottomed will do), gently press down on each potato to flatten gently (it's okay if they split). Now just leave them alone to brown - no stirring - for another 5 minutes, checking the bottoms occasionally.
- Once the bottoms of the potatoes have browned, pour beaten eggs over potatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the egg on the side is starting to look done (about 3 minutes). Place skillet under broiler and, watching carefully, cook the top of the eggs until just done.
- Remove skillet from oven. Top cooked eggs with cheese, then bacon, sour cream and remaining ingredients. Serve immediately.