Unlaid Chicken Eggs: In Chicken Soup

Back on September 30th, we dispatched the meat birds.  I ended up helping with de-feathering and gutting ducks at a neighbor’s, followed by them (there were five of us working on one aspect or another of the birds) coming over to help me with seven meat birds, six of whom were roosters and who let us know that.  (I do miss their crowing.  I miss their presence.  Six roosters and one hen… not a sustainable ratio, even remotely.)

Chicken soup, unlaid eggs, recipe, eyerlekh, unborn eggs, soup, Jewish

Chicken soup with yolks, still simmering.

Jesse drew the hen to clean, and discovered an unlaid whole egg with shell and all, and a bundle of unlaid egg yolks held together by membranes, within her.  He was eager for me not to toss these treats out with the entrails, and I’d actually heard of this; that people do eat them.  So… Yes, I did save and eat them two days later for lunch.  This  below is that meal.

I’ll be kind and post the pics of the unborn eggs at the end.

(I’ve also heard that people cook and eat rooster wattles and combs – I do believe in eating as much of what an animal gives you as possible, considering these gifts that one should not waste, but in this case… perhaps next time.  It just felt… too personal… to do.)

I was startled that this hen was far enough along that she was about to lay her first egg.  Small, fully formed, and beautiful.  It may even have been fertilized – the roosters learning about rooster-hood and all, even though I don’t think all of them were yet mature.  (Only two of them were noticeably active, if you know what I mean.)

For those who have not seen earlier discussions, these birds were a combo of red broilers (possibly red freedom rangers?) and black broilers (these grew and matured faster, and apparently have  some Australorpe in their background, which may account for the friendliness of the bird I rescued).  I wanted to steer clear of Cornish Cross (your typical supermarket bird) due to their heart and leg issues — they’re bred for such big breasts that their legs may break, and their cardiac system can’t typically take the stress much after 8 weeks of age.  Indeed, bred to be the true factory bird, although some homesteaders do indeed raise Cornish Cross and free-range them.  Those have a better feed to meat conversion ratio, but since I’m not planning on selling these birds and so am not gearing up for volume, I go with what I want to go with.  (Plus, anything that gives me a better dark to white meat ratio is certainly not to be sniffed at.)

broilers-3 roos--

Yes, these are roosters, and not the hen.

Anyhow, back to the unlaid eggs:  Searching for the Golden Egg is a site that provides interesting information about eyerlekh, a Jewish old-country traditional treat.  Unborn, unlaid eggs.

According to that post, they can be cured by salting and sugaring, and held for a long period of time (important in the days of no refrigeration), or they can be poached into a broth.

While I was surfing electronically, I discovered that these eggs are consumed in curries in India, and eaten in stews in Japan.  I am certain many other cultures don’t waste these yolks, either.

I opted to make a soup, more or less a Jewish chicken soup, and poach the eggs in that soup.  To this end, I used two chicken backs and one neck.  I don’t expect you to have the exact same ingredients, but do use a home-made chicken stock if at possible.  (If you actually have access to these sorts of unlaid eggs, the homemade stock is probably second-nature to you…)

Chicken soup, unlaid eggs, recipe, eyerlekh, unborn eggs, soup, Jewish

The unborn egg that was ready to be laid. Probably would have been laid later that day. If the hen had been laying before this, it was while she was out free-ranging and I’ll never find them (nor want to, at this point…)  I didn’t add this egg to the soup, but I could have.  EDIT:  She did lay an egg prior.  I simply didn’t discover it until it was too late to consider as food… (Compost, alas.)

This soup stock was made from the above chicken parts, and included sufficient water for two servings (when completed), a coarsely chopped onion, a stalk of diced celery, a half cup or so of white wine, two teaspoons of allspice, 1/4 teaspoon of fennel seed, salt and pepper to taste.  You can add herbs as you feel inspired, of course.  Carrots would be colorful.  Total volume when finished simmering (after about 3.5 hours, and having periodically to readjust liquids with additional water): about 1.75 cups.  At the end, remove bones and save any meat for the soup.

Times below assume you already have your homemade chicken stock.

Prep Time:  If you already have the stock – 5-10 minutes.  (To make the stock, allow up to four hours all together.)  
Cook Time:  Heat up the broth to a good simmer, but less than a boil.  Each range will vary.  Poaching the eggs:  4 minutes.
Rest Time:  None.
Serves: 2

Cuisine:  Jewish-inspired.
Leftovers:  Possible, but not tested.

Poached Unlaid Chicken Egg (Eyerlekh) Chicken Soup

  • Homemade chicken soup containing bits of chicken, onion and celery; seasoned with wine, herbs and spices as discussed above.  In a pinch, you can use boxed low sodium chicken broth, but that’s in a pinch.  About 1.75 – 2  cups total with ingredients.
  • 1 set of unlaid chicken egg yolks.  Failing this, use 4 chicken yolks from laid eggs.
  • Fresh parsley sprigs (garnish).

Bring the soup to a simmer, and taste for seasonings.

Add the unlaid yolks, and poach for about 4 minutes, keeping the liquid at a very gentle simmer, not breaking the yolks.

Serve, and add parsley for garnish.

Chicken soup, unlaid eggs, recipe, eyerlekh, unborn eggs, soup, Jewish

The large egg to the left is an egg of  typical “large” size, already in my fridge from a local farmer. The little one to the top was unlaid, but ready. The batch of yolks were slowly developing, to be laid approximately one day at a time. Or maybe every other day.

Chicken soup, unlaid eggs, recipe, eyerlekh, unborn eggs, soup, Jewish

Close up. Bright yolks, a product of a great diet. (A little orange-r than they were, due to lighting, but they were orange…)

Chicken soup, unlaid eggs, recipe, eyerlekh, unborn eggs, soup, Jewish

The yolks are light and delicious, and at four minutes of poaching, they’ve gone solid but creamy. Some sources say they taste sweeter than laid yolks, but I didn’t do a taste comparison.

This recipe is timidly wandering over to Fiesta Friday , hosted by
Liz @ spadesspatulasandspoons.com and Deb @ Pantry Portfolio – where I don’t suspect it will be made by many, but who knows? However, there are always popular and good recipe notions to be had there!

And it more boldly goes where no eggs have gone before (ahem, sorry for the Star Trek overlay…) over to the Homestead Blog Hop, where other good things are quite apt to be found!

And, we’re over here at the What’s For Dinner, Sunday Link Up.  Because I don’t want to waste potential food items that came up and thus grew up and lived good lives, and who  never saw that cramped  supermarket life.

What happens here, is I don’t think I ever want to eat a supermarket chicken again.  As a guest  in someone’s home out of politeness, but otherwise, not.


About goatsandgreens

The foodie me: Low/no gluten, low sugars, lots of ethnic variety of foods. Seafood, offal, veggies. Farmers' markets. Cooking from scratch, and largely local. The "future" me: I've now moved to my new home in rural western Massachusetts. I am raising chickens (for meat and for eggs) and planning for guinea fowl, Shetland sheep, and probably goats and/or alpaca. Possibly feeder pigs. Raising veggies and going solar.
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10 Responses to Unlaid Chicken Eggs: In Chicken Soup

  1. Wow ! this looks very interesting

  2. Wow, I must admit that my hat is definitely off for you! I cannot imagine butchering my own birds. We had chickens with names when our kid was in preschool, no way could I have killed them. The last one, post-menopausal for many years, died when she was almost 10. Impressive pioneer woman stuff. Thank you for bringing this to FF.

  3. I am so glad you shared! I loved reading this story and didn’t realize that the yolks grew together in a clump like that. This is perfect for Fiesta Friday because we all always want to learn new things. With appreciation, Deb

  4. New stuff. Did not know about unlaid eggs.
    Do check out my easy and flavorful Milk Pudding on FieistaFriday #245

  5. helenfern says:

    Is that like chicken caviar? Thanks for sharing at the What’s for Dinner party – can’t wait to see what you’ll bring next week. Have a fabulous week ahead.

  6. Pingback: Rooster Corfu | Of Goats and Greens

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