Dear The Kitchen,
My husband and I just returned from a wonderful weekend trip to Jeffersonville, NY. The owners of the B&B where we stayed gave us some duck eggs from their farm. Is there a fabulous way to prepare them that is different from chicken eggs?
Compared to chicken eggs, the yolks of duck eggs have more fat and the whites more protein. Duck eggs are more fragile in composition, so more care should be taken when cooking. You can cook duck eggs as you would regular chicken eggs (scrambled, fried, boiled, etc.) but there are some other traditional ways of preparing them that might be interesting to try.
According to Seasonal Chef, Chinese cuisine, in particular, pays close attention to Duck Eggs. "Tea eggs," for example, ask you to simmer the duck eggs for 8 or 10 minutes until hard-boiled, then carefully crack the shell without peeling it off and simmer them in tea for an hour. The result is a beautiful hard-cooked egg with a spider web design on the exterior.
You can play with the simmering solution further: try about a quart of water, one-half cup soy sauce, a tablespoon of honey, a piece of tangerine peel, a leek stalk, a couple of cloves of garlic and a pinch of salt for 2 hours.
If you really want to get adventurous, try Thousand Year Old Eggs, which preserves the eggs in a few ingredients you might not immediately find in your kitchen.
Of course, you can't go wrong by hard-cooking a duck egg and sprinkling it with some fleur-de-sel. Place them in a pot, cover them with cold water, and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, immediately remove the pot from the heat and let stand 12 minutes for large eggs. (A minute less for medium eggs.) Drain the eggs and shake the pan vigorously to crack the shells; this lets them cool faster and prevents overcooking. Cover with cold water and allow to cool. Once cool, you can peel them, slice them in halves or wedges, and sprinkle with a tasting salt such as fleur-de-sel. If you don't eat them immediately, store them in a bowl in the refrigerator, covered with water.