My neighbor is an urban duck farmer who occasionally sells the eggs when she has a surplus. When I heard about this I did an internet search on duck eggs and learned they are a delightful powerhouse of protein that can do amazing things to your baked goods. Some of my favorite things to eat are runny yolks and baked goods so anything claiming to be better than the mighty chicken egg needed to get in my belly. Immediately. So I waited with great anticipation for the next opportunity to buy some eggs from my neighbor.
The minute she posted on our neighborhood social media page that she had an 18-pack of eggs for $10, I contacted her and we made arrangements for the deal. When I say deal, I mean that it almost felt like an illegal transaction—fresh eggs without the FDA stamp of approval sold for cash at night. I was imagining me ending up on an episode of my favorite reality show, Cops. It would end up being everyone’s favorite episode.
I found her house, surrounded by a chain-link fence with signs posted to “beware of dogs.” I hesitantly entered the yard but instead of being greeted by a fierce dog, a flock of ducks waddled over to check me out. I think they were Cayuga ducks but I didn’t ask. The less personal information I know about an animal, the better it can taste.
When I got home with my booty, my husband greeted me with the sound of a quacking duck (he’s a jerk – adorable, but a jerk). He declined to try this new delicacy. I immediately washed the eggs and set my favorite Scanpan frying pan on the stove so I could fry these babies up. Oh babies – bad choice of words considering that when you do an image search for duck eggs you will see balut. Trust me—try to avoid images of balut or you will cringe when you crack open your first free-range duck egg for fear of it being fertilized.
My initial observations of the egg were that it’s about 50% larger than a chicken egg and has a greenish-gray-colored shell that’s a little thicker, as is the membrane. The yolk is very large and a beautiful yellow-orange color. The white part of the egg is very viscous. It was a thing of beauty.
It cooked up much like a chicken egg but took a little longer and was worth every extra moment. Holy moly, it was like the duck gave me hollandaise sauce in a shell. The yolk was so rich and buttery I probably could have skipped the butter on my toast. My son saw what I was eating and demanded I cook one for him. Smart kid, not like his father.
A few mornings later, my kid demanded requested pancakes. Normally, I won’t pull out the griddle on a work day but it was an opportunity to try something with the duck eggs. I followed my usual recipe but used the duck egg instead. The flavor was the same but they were much fluffier. There is some science to explain this but who cares—fluffy pancakes, pass the syrup.
I have 13 more eggs and a weekend in front of me. Now I just have to decide what to make. If you have any suggestions, I’m taking them now!