Orange juice is a breakfast staple, but would you add it to your eggs? When Claire Thomas, the food blogger behind The Kitchy Kitchen, suggested combining these two ingredients in one recipe, I was a bit skeptical. But after I'd discovered the deliciousness of adding coffee grounds to spaghetti sauce, I had to give this trick a fair shot, too. So for the sake of breakfast science, I put orange juice in my scrambled eggs.
Thomas claims this egg addition was the signature of her Auntie Ree's breakfasts, and that the juice works as "a backup singer." In other words, the ingredient is something you can taste in the context of how it lifts the whole dish, rather than as its own note. Though I couldn't stick to Thomas' recipe perfectly (it calls for three kinds of dairy, which I cannot eat), I used her exact juice-to-egg ratio. Five eggs and two tablespoons of orange juice later, I was staring down a plate of scrambled eggs that I wasn't sure I wanted to try.
The smell of orange juice was notable as the eggs cooked — even through all the coconut oil I used to grease the pan. My go-to scrambled eggs secret ingredient is usually tamari (a soy sauce that doesn't contain wheat). As you might imagine, I'm used to a full-bodied, savory, and salty flavor for this dish, so the idea of eating sweet eggs made me hesitate.
But when I finally got around to putting fork to mouth, I found that Auntie Ree was right — with one caveat. The orange juice does add a tasty lightness to the dish that's nice, as long as you add enough salt. Without it, you can very clearly taste the orange juice; salt pushes it out of the spotlight and into the supporting role it was meant to take.