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Most Delicious Deviled Eggs

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Virginia Willis' Deviled Eggs on

These deviled eggs are amazing. They have kind of developed a life of their own and can be found on,, and a slew of other blogs. It’s because I have a secret ingredient….. Nope, I am not telling you, yet! The ingredients are important, but the consistency is key, too. It’s very important to puree the yolk mixture completely, and  I prefer using a sieve or tamis for making the mixture silky smooth. This prevents lumps and makes the mixture so much creamier as well as prettier. This is another one of those recipes that there are very few ingredients which makes the technique is so important.


How to Boil Eggs on

How to Hard Cook Eggs

Perhaps the most important tip is correctly cooking the eggs in the first place. Hard cooked vs. hard boiled. If you actually hard boil an egg you are fairly likely to have overcooked, sulphurous eggs with shattered shells, tough plumes of rubbery white, and a green ring around a chalky yolk. To hard cook, also known as coddle, is the best technique for cooking eggs in the shell. The process involves bringing the eggs to a boil, removing the pan from the heat, covering the pan, and setting a timer. Soft eggs are barely set at 4 minutes. Mollet eggs are allowed to set for 5 to 7 minutes; the white is set and the yolks are warm, but runny. Mollet eggs are perfect with crisp fingers of buttered toast. At 10 minutes of coddling, the whites are firm and set, and the yolk is firm, yet barely soft at the center, excellent for creamy egg salad. For deviled, Easter, and sieved eggs for mimosa garnish, let them coddle for 12 minutes; any longer and the egg will begin to overcook.

How to Cook Eggs on


How to Peel Eggs

Very fresh eggs are difficult to peel. Buy and refrigerate eggs about seven days in advance of cooking. This allows the eggs to take in air, which helps separate the membranes from the shells. To peel the eggs, tap each egg gently on the counter or sink to form cracks all over the shell. Roll the egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Peel, starting at the large end, while holding the egg under running cold water; this facilitates peeling and also removes any stray shell fragments. (And, fear not — if your eggs are too new and don’t peel properly, you can always make egg salad!)


How to Hard Cook Eggs on


Southern Deviled Eggs

I’ve got a Tupperware carrying case and a slew of special deviled egg plates. (Along with a serving piece obsession.) If you don’t have a specially designed plate for serving deviled eggs, with cuplike indentations to keep the eggs from rolling, simply trim off a sliver from the bottom of the cooked white before you fill the eggs with the yolk mixture. Garnish the platter with leaves of butter lettuce or herbs and nestle the filled eggs in the greenery. Hey — before we get to the recipe, please consider signing up for my blog for tips, techniques, and other great recipes that work!


Best Deviled Eggs on


Ok, now for that secret ingredient? It’s butter. Butter makes the yolk mixture very smooth, creamy, and absolutely delicious. If you want to skip the herbs and add relish, bacon bits, or other add ins, go ahead — but don’t leave out the secret ingredient!


Bon Appétit, Y’all!

Virginia Willis


Deviled Eggs

Unpeeled hard-cooked eggs can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. Or prepare the eggs, but don’t assemble, up to 8 hours in advance of serving; refrigerate the whites covered with a damp towel in an airtight plastic container. Store the egg-yolk mixture in the piping bag with the tip also covered in a damp paper towel. Knead the yolk mixture slightly to soften before filling the yolks. The eggs may also be assembled and stored covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 hours. Any longer and the yolk mixture starts to form a crust.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time12 minutes
Total Time17 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine: American, French
Keyword: deviled, egg
Servings: 12


  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh tarragon chives, or chervil, plus leaves for garnish


  • To hard-cook the eggs, place the eggs in a saucepan and add water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat (you will see bubbles around the sides of the pot). Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 12 minutes. Drain the eggs and rinse them under cold running water. Set aside to cool completely.
  • To peel the eggs, once the eggs have cooked and cooled, remove the shells by tapping each egg gently on the counter or sink all over to crackle it. Roll an egg between your hands to loosen the shell. Peel, starting at the large end, while holding the egg under running cold water; this facilitates peeling and also removes any stray shell fragments.
  • To prepare the filling, halve the peeled eggs lengthwise. Carefully remove the yolks. Set the whites aside. Pass the yolks through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl or place them in the work bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Blend the yolks, mayonnaise, butter, mustard, and cayenne, and mix until smooth; season with salt and pepper. Add the finely chopped tarragon.
  • Place the mixture in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, or use a medium sealable plastic bag with one of the corner tips snipped off.
  • To assemble the eggs, when ready to serve, pipe the yolk mixture into the whites. Garnish with additional herbs and serve immediately.

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Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 2 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

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