This dish pays homage to the classic picnic staple, but it stands out among all the other variations out there. The soft-boiled eggs are enrobed in a creamy, cold, mayonnaise-based sauce that’s similar in style to the one that accompanies the Italian dish vitello tonnato, cold sliced veal cloaked in a rich tuna sauce. The crispy chicken skin garnish gives the dish a crunchy textural element that contrasts with the sauce and egg. You could make the eggs without this garnish, but I encourage you to try it at least once. There are a million tricks out there for how to make peeling eggs easier. The only one I can attest to is to use older eggs; farm eggs are often too fresh and their shells haven’t had time to cure, making peeling very difficult, so buy them well in advance of when you plan to make this dish. A little baking soda in the water helps, too.
Tonnato-Style Deviled Eggs with Lemon Aioli and Crispy Chicken Skin
¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil (or a 50/50 mix extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil)
1 tablespoon warm water
Fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Set a medium mixing bowl on a kitchen towel (this will prevent the bowl from moving as you whisk). Whisk together the egg yolk, garlic, and salt. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in the oil, drop by drop at first, until the mixture begins to thicken, then in a slow, steady stream until all the oil has been incorporated and the mixture is very thick. Whisk in the warm water to thin the aioli, then season to taste with additional salt, the lemon juice, and pepper. Serve right away or transfer to a lidded jar and refrigerate; the aioli will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
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