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.)
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.)
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…)
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.
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.
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 recipe notions to be had there!