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Author Annie Gray Transports Fans Taste Buds in New ‘Downton Abbey’ Cookbook (Exclusive)

Elizabeth McGovern stars as Lady Grantham and Hugh Bonneville as Lord Grantham and in Downton Abbey Courtesy of Jaap Buitendijk/Focus Features

Eat breakfast like a Brit! Serving eggs with fish might raise some eyebrows on this side of the pond, but author Annie Gray exclusively reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly that it’s the perfect way to start the day.

Related: Celebrate the ‘Downton Abbey’ Movie With These Themed Foods: Gin, Tea and More

“It fills you up,” she says of the English staple kedgeree, found in The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook (available now). “It uses any fish you want,” Gray adds. “It’s like an omelet on fire.”


The dish also comes with its fair share of history. “No breakfast at Downton would be complete without a dish of kedgeree, kept warm on a burner on the sideboard,” Gray writes. “The name and the concept come from an Indian recipe called khichri, a mixture of dal and rice that was quickly adopted and altered to suit the British palate.”

Related: Celebrate the Downton Abbey Movie With These Classic English Teas Inspired By Lord Grantham, Mary and More

She continues, “Modern versions often use smoked fish, and the dish is especially associated with final haddie, a lightly smoked fish from Scotland that was popularized in Britain once the Victorian railway boom made it possible to transport it to London without spoiling.”

If the new Downton Abbey movie has you craving a real English breakfast, give Gray’s recipe a go.

Related: Everything We Know About the Royal Family’s Eating Habits: A Fondness for Roast Chicken, Bacon Pizza and More


Serves 4


1 lb skin-on firm white fish fillets, such as turbot, haddock or cod

1 cup milk

4 tbsp butter

5 cups cooked white or brown rice, cold 1/4 cup fish or chicken stock or water (or as needed)

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Salt and black pepper to taste

2 eggs

2/3 cup heavy cream


1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced


1. Put the fish into a saucepan with the milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook the fish until it flakes when prodded with a fork and is opaque at the center. The timing will depend on the thickness of the fillets. Remove the fish from the pan and discard the milk. Let the fish cool until it can be handled, then remove and discard the skin and break up the flesh into large flakes, removing any errant bones. Set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter. Add the stock and continue to stir, adding more stock if necessary to prevent the rice from sticking, until it’s piping hot. Add the cayenne and the salt and black pepper, and stir well. Add the fish, turning it gently with the rice to mix. Break the eggs into a bowl, add the cream and mix roughly with a fork. Keeping the heat very low, add the egg mixture to the pan and cook very gently, turning occasionally, for 5 to 6 minutes, until the egg is just cooked through but remains slightly runny.

3. Remove from the heat and serve on warmed plates, garnished with the chopped parsley and hard-boiled egg slices.

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