I wanted to love duck eggs. Really. I had seen Jamie Oliver using them on my favorite (and only) cooking show, Jamie at Home. He makes everything look healthy and delicious. (The fact that he is so adorable doesn’t hurt). He was dipping asparagus into a soft-boiled duck egg surrounded by his huge kitchen garden. It was all too perfect, yet something told me I might not like it as much as he seemed to. My resistance obviously needed to be overcome, it was just too irrational for someone who is willing to try almost anything.
The next week I bought a dozen at the Farmers Market from Rickman Gulch Farm. They were fresh, organic and big. I brought them home and had one for our usual Saturday morning breakfast after the market — poached eggs, toast made from fresh bread and loads of salad greens with olive oil. The first thing I noticed was the size of the egg. It barely fit in a poaching cup but I couldn’t hold that against it. I overcooked it slightly when I left it in too long to compensate for the size. Overall, my first experience was pretty good…. the shell was quite hard, the white only slightly rubbery, the yolk rich. I was encouraged… I thought I could handle duck eggs.
Later in the week, I went all out. I decided to try a vegetarian eggs benedict-type dish using duck eggs and asparagus. I bought a ciabatta roll from the Essential Baking Company instead of using an english muffin because I knew I was going to need more room to accommodate the generous size of the egg. Again, the egg was large in the poacher but I had my technique down the second time.
I whipped up a batch of my favorite hollandaise-type sauce from The Herbal Kitchen , the second of the Herbfarm cookbooks. I Iove this sauce because it uses very little butter but it does use 4 eggs. I thought, “why not use duck eggs in the sauce too?” In retrospect, this may have been where things went bad. It looked delicious but when I took a bite, it was all just too much for me. I od’ed on duck eggs.
I certainly don’t want to discourage anyone else from giving duck eggs a fair try. I googled “duck eggs” and found lots of recipes, none of which carried any kind of disclaimer except for the Chinese 1000-year-old eggs — but that is a different story. I gave the rest of the dozen to Krista to try and haven’t gotten any negative reports back yet. Hopefully, one of you have a more positive experience to report. If so, I’d love to hear about it.