Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Duck eggs update

I guess I finally found something that chickens do better than ducks -- eggs. As I wrote in an earlier post, I recently became a lucky recipient of a dozen duck eggs. So this weekend, I tried duck eggs for the first time. Following the advice of Walter Jeffries (from Sugar Mountain Farm), I dropped my first idea of deviled eggs in favor of an omelet. It wasn't as fluffy and light as a chicken egg omelet and had a more pronounced sulfur smell. Not bad, but not something I would make again.

But wait! I didn't give up that easy. My second experiment was to make a soft boiled egg -- my favorite kind -- with the yolk still liquidy. I have to admit that I undercooked the egg slightly. Soft boiled eggs are always tricky since a lot depends on the size of the egg and there is no way to check them. The yolk came out really viscous and too thick for my taste.

My husband, who doesn't eat eggs, was documenting my little experiment and laughing as I tried to come up with more ways to cook duck eggs. Determined to give this one more try, I set my trusted cast-iron skillet on the stove, and cracked another egg into it for sunny-side-up. The white cooked really quickly, but I had a hard time getting the yolk to warm up. I tell ya -- that was one huge yolk. Just like with soft boiled egg, it came out too viscous.

Of course, what I probably should have done is baked, not cooked with them. But since I don't bake much, I haven't tried it yet.

The moral of the story is: All that glistens is not gold, and all that is duck is not necessarily better than chicken.

19 comments:

Paz said...

That's some moral. Thanks for sharing the experience with us. So, how many eggs do you have left. Will you continue looking for a good recipe for the eggs?

Paz

Helen said...

Hi Paz,

I still have 8 eggs left. Any takers? :)

Cheers,
-Helen

groundlings said...

Helen,
Thanks for the comment. I really enjoyed looking at your blog and look forward to later posts. The photos of your food are great as well. Check out previous entries in my blog for food stories; my dad is an amazing cook.

- Dara

P.S. Where do you purchase your produce? My family does nearly all of our shopping at The Whole Food Market. Do you?

paz said...

LOL!

Paz

Walter Jeffries said...

*grin* I'm glad it isn't just me! I never have gotten to liking them boiled and even as fried they seem strange. However in baking they are excellent. My very favorite thing to do with our duck eggs is meringues - duck eggs have so much white in one package. I think the sulfur smell is in the yoke so that solves that. I end up giving the yokes to the dogs, great for their coats, unless I have an immediate use for them.

MagicTofu said...

I guess its a question of taste. Personally, duck eggs, or at least those I tried in China, are my favourite eggs.

Cedar Grove Farm said...

Were the duck eggs organic? The sulfur smell is probably from being fed non organic commercial feed. Our ducks are pasture fed, and also fed certified organic feed... the eggs have hardly any smell at all when broken. Before giving up duck eggs, might I suggest trying organic, first.

Helen said...

Hi Cedar Grove Farm,

I am not sure if the eggs were officially organic, but they are from a small farmer in Massachusetts, and I hear that people who like duck eggs, love the ones she supplies. It could be just me. But I'll try to give duck eggs another chance :)

Cheers,
-Helen

jill said...

Hi Helen - My duck eggs never have a sulphur smell. While I don't feed them certified organic feed they are free range and eat plenty of fresh greens, roots and insects during their foraging hours. In winter, I get them scraps and old produce from grocery. Yes, when you fry up a duck egg, it will be richer and have a thicker mouth-feel as duck eggs contain more mono-unsaturated fats and cholesterol than chicken eggs. My favorite dish is to saute some chopped onion in butter on low flame for 5 minutes, then stir in my scrambled duck eggs and some fresh thyme. I find the texture more pleasing than chicken eggs scrambled. And no chicken egg beats a duck egg for turning out a good muffin or cake. Mine boil up very well also. The white is a little firmer when boiled but the yolk is dreamy! Great for egg salad and devileds. Consider revisiting duck eggs from a different supplier. All the best - Jill

Anonymous said...

Came across this aging post while looking for recipes for some recently purchased duck eggs. The sulfurous odor is known as the "rotten egg" smell. It doesn't matter whether the egg is from a chicken, a duck, or an ostrich. It does not have anything to do with organic feed. You got an old egg, probably inadvertently, but still rotten. Did you talk to the purveyor?

The other observations are consistent with an egg that is partially denatured. The omelet would be less fluffy. I found the yolk to be very viscous to start with. I can imagine that it would be almost tough when soft boiled. We did scrambled eggs. They were just fine. -- Dino

The moral is, if it smells rotten throw it out and start again.

Wild Flora said...

I'd just like to add my vote in favor of duck eggs. I have four Muscovy ducks, three of them females, all considered pets. Almost a year old now, the girls recently started laying a couple of eggs a day, and so I've had the opportunity to eat fresh duck eggs both fried and scrambled. I find that duck eggs need gentler cooking because of the size of the yolk, but I find the taste to be excellent -- similar to that of chicken eggs but richer.

Anonymous said...

I can't say that I've ever had a chicken egg that matched a good duck egg. Ever. I dont think that they are right for people who like the soft boiled egg, but as a fan of the hard (not chewy, just au point) boiled egg there i nothing better. But then I get them the same day from a small farm in Cambridge, England, so it might be the case that yours were different

Anonymous said...

I am suprised at your comment about duck eggs. I too have some muscovy ducks and I was basically giving away my eggs until I finally decided to start using them and boy am I happy I did. I don't use my chickens eggs anymore for making omelets. The difference is AMAZING with much fluffier omelets and oh so good. I too think you had a bad egg because what you describe is not normal for a duck egg and am not sure how you prepared your omelet. I usually use one or two eggs to make an omelet (feeds 2 or 3 people) and whip the egg with a fork, add some milk or cream, add whatever I am going to put into it, fried bacon pieces, onions, red/green peppers, etc. etc. One in the pan and almost set I add grated cheese, then fold it over once cooked (don't overcook) remove from stove top and put a top on fry pan in order to make sure the cheese melts and VOILA! Best omelette you have ever had I can guarantee.

Danielle

Anonymous said...

Tina said...
We started getting duck eggs from our neighbor and they turn out great for scrambled or over easy. We love them our scrambled eggs were very fluffy I even drop a few into a greased hot skillet and scramble them right away and have a scrambled egg sandwich with Miracle Whip...yum. We know have a mixture of ducks and chickens ourself.

donna said...

I loved reading what yall had to say about duck eggs. I go to this chinese store in memphis to get diet green tea and I bought some duck eggs. I havent tried them yet. It says they have been boiled already so should I boil them again.

Helen said...

Hi Donna,

You don't need to boil the eggs the second time. Enjoy :)

-Helen

Anonymous said...

duck eggs are marvelous. truly culinary wonders that leave chicken eggs in the dust. if there is an issue with sulfur or whatever, you probably didn't get a good batch. look for organic and truly free range duck eggs. you will never go back to chickens of any kind. and ignore those who are wont to cast judgment after one bad try without giving something a fair chance. our palettes should not be held hostage to such small minds.

rayattock said...

indeedy do. just scoffed a ginormous fried duck egg on toast followed by 3-duck egg omlette with leek and asparagus (must do some press-ups), DELIGHTFUL! .. my girlfriend is vegetarian and will eat free range chicken eggs but not duck eggs for some moral reason. apart from anything else she's missing out on so much lovely grub, but could someone reassure me that duck eggs don't change into mini-ducks more readily than chicken eggs? for fertilisation you need a chap in the same space, as with most species, and always a worry that with free range flocks a chap could wander into a bunch of chicks (!) but more info would be good, cheers, ray

dadikated said...

I am looking for duck eggs to make Chinese Salty Eggs (eggs stayed under concentrated salty water for 1 mo.) ... Where is the small farmer in MA?