The egg is your kitchen’s version of a quick, sure thing. It’s nutrient dense, versatile and can be cooked in minutes. But let’s face it, eggs can get boring so substituting a duck egg for your standard chicken egg is an easy way to add some tasteful nuance to your favorite egg recipes.
Duck eggs look and taste like chicken eggs, just different. The shell is larger and tougher to crack. The yoke is more viscous with an intense, bright orange color. The taste is slightly richer, packing more fat, protein and vitamins.
Tomas Gomez of Lily’s Eggs in Fillmore, is a familiar face at the Wednesday Market. Along with his farm fresh chicken eggs, he sells whole chickens, duck eggs, emu eggs and roses. Can there be a more thoughtful Valentine’s gift than a bouquet of roses and a dozen emu eggs? I don’t think so.
The one hundred or so Peking ducks that roam their 25-acre farm spend most of the day in the rose garden, eating grass, bugs and insects. Tomas also supplements their diet with leftover greens collected from the farmers market. The females start laying eggs at around six months old, without yolks at first. The yolks eventually develop as the ducks mature and then continue to lay one egg every other day over the course of their natural 10-year lifespan.
Nyesha Arrington, chef-partner of Leona in Venice, constructs her progressive California cuisine-inspired menu around what’s seasonal, delicious and exciting at the local farmers markets. She’s a fan of Lily’s duck eggs, which she uses for her spin on traditional bacon and eggs. The duck eggs are first soft poached, then lightly fried with julienned potatoes until crispy. She serves them with a bacon-braised beef broth poured tableside, resulting in a nice mix that’s crunchy, yolk-y, salty.
Find Nyesha Arrington’s recipe for Bacon & Eggs here.