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Under-utilized chicken parts


Peter the eater
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I recently butchered two dozen live chickens, still a relatively new and rewarding experience for me. As I drained, plucked and eviscerated these creatures I started to think about the quality of their life and how they fit into the big picture . . . and then I nicked my finger and said to myself "Ouch! Focus you MORON".

In the spirit of more fully utilizing a creature that has been whacked to feed me and my family, I wondered about all the bits people (around here) usually overlook. How can I be a better "beak to tail feather" kinda guy?

From eG and elsewhere, I have found good ideas for the feet, the gizzard, the heart and the liver. What I have really been wondering about are those eggs that are still in the oviduct at the time of slaughter. Some of the birds had several "proto-eggs" coming down the pipe and I must say they looked very appealing. Some were on the verge of being laid complete with a soft shell while upstream they looked like plump golden yolks without any albumen.

Are there any established culinary traditions for these freshest of eggs? And while we're at it, are there any other gems inside? Lungs? Pancreas? Head?

edited for spellling

Edited by Peter the eater (log)

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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I remember reading a story once about a family that killed a couple of chickens and used them to make chicken-in-a-pot. They used the eggs to make some noodles that they then added to the dish. It sounded wonderful.

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Torakris has eaten chicken brain (I remember her chicken sashimi post from a few years back), and lots of people have talked about using things like the cockscomb if you have them.

When we used to get feather-on chickens we did keep as many of the proto-eggs as we could get; they would be served in a variety of forms, but I remember soups and steamed dishes mostly.

Heston Blumenthal watched an Italian chef use them for a somewhat avant-garde version of tagliatelle alla Bolognese.

Edit: forgot that the entire bird (head to feet) is entirely used in whatever whole chicken dish one gets in Asia. Just a bunch of extra bits in the pot really.

Edited by wattacetti (log)
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So you finally did it, eh? I remember your original post about slaughtering those chickens. (So, what became of that? I can't find a link somehow... did you post pictures of it?)

As I said in that post, I think my mom has said something about making a soup out the ovaries, presumably including these eggs? I don't know for sure, unfortunately. You might want to ask in the China & Chinese Cuisine forum if this preparation sounds appealing.

I wonder, did you save the chicken feet? Mmmm....

"I know it's the bugs, that's what cheese is. Gone off milk with bugs and mould - that's why it tastes so good. Cows and bugs together have a good deal going down."

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I forgot to mention the combs or crests! My birds were small year-old egg-layers and had very minimal combs and wattles. Although they were an inviting red colour, I figured it would be a lot of effort, and it was snowing and my finger was still hurting.

What would one do to with a coxcomb and wattle?

Was HB watching an Italian chef prepare cibreo?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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In Yiddish, the unborn chicken eggs are called 'ayerlach' (means little eggs). Baba used to add them to her chicken soup. You can't get them here (at least not kosher), but my sister thought she hit gold when she lived in Australia for a year and her kosher butcher had them.

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So you finally did it, eh? I remember your original post about slaughtering those chickens. (So, what became of that? I can't find a link somehow... did you post pictures of it?)

As I said in that post, I think my mom has said something about making a soup out the ovaries, presumably including these eggs? I don't know for sure, unfortunately. You might want to ask in the China & Chinese Cuisine forum if this preparation sounds appealing.

I wonder, did you save the chicken feet? Mmmm....

I beleive you are refering to post #16 on this thread. I opted not to take pictures this time, it was one of those scenarios where close up photography would be questionable. Like when someone's having a baby or something, I suppose some artful black & whites could work.

Ovary soup might not sound like it would fly off the menu, but I'd try it.

I regret not doing something with the 48 chicken feet plus 8 turkey feet. Now I'm beginning to feel I really let my flock down . . . oh well. Again, it was cold and I was bleeding. :biggrin:

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Too bad about the feet: great snack food and also very useful in enriching stock if you don't want to eat them.

Kamozawa & Talbot over at Ideas in Food were making lardons from the combs (click here for link).

Blumenthal was watching a chef identified as "Massimo" poach a proto-egg, replace the yolk with ragú, and serve it on a fried tagliatelle cracker.

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In Yiddish, the unborn chicken eggs are called 'ayerlach' (means little eggs). Baba used to add them to her chicken soup. You can't get them here (at least not kosher), but my sister thought she hit gold when she lived in Australia for a year and her kosher butcher had them.

That is exactly what I was hoping to learn. It would seem unthinkable to pass up those little yellow orbs especially in times when food was scarce. Does that word also exist in Hebrew? I get nothing for ayerlach using the common search engines.

Would your Baba stir them into the soup so they break up, or do the yolks stay whole?

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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If you search for 'ayelach' you might get more results. (Different regions, slightly different word.)

In Hebrew, egg is baytzah - and the Hebrew/English dictionary on my desk doesn't have an entry for 'unhatched eggs'. :biggrin:

The eggs were taken out of their . .sac? and boiled in the soup, whole. Back in the day, I remember thinking that they were 'gross' (I was very young when they were available here), as were the chicken feet that my uncle always nibbled on at the other end of the table.

There was an article in the NYT earlier this year on them. Clicky.

In plain English, these are eggs that have not been laid and are sometimes discovered when an elderly laying hen is slaughtered.
This mostly lost treat is remembered well by anyone who grew up on a farm with laying hens, or who bought chickens from an old-fashioned butcher before the advent of factory farming.
The collection of yolks brought back childhood memories of fighting with my cousin over who got the pureys, as we called them, after the name for miniature marbles. My aunt cooked them in chicken soup (along with the gizzard, neck and feet). Mr. Barber had one cooked for me in chicken stock and my taste memory was confirmed: tender and moist with all the deliciousness of a just-laid egg.
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My family used to cook them with various other innards of the chicken in an extremely gingery-rice wine soup. It was great loved the textures, and all the different sizes of the eggs. as well as other innard goodies.

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So you finally did it, eh? I remember your original post about slaughtering those chickens. (So, what became of that? I can't find a link somehow... did you post pictures of it?)

As I said in that post, I think my mom has said something about making a soup out the ovaries, presumably including these eggs? I don't know for sure, unfortunately. You might want to ask in the China & Chinese Cuisine forum if this preparation sounds appealing.

I wonder, did you save the chicken feet? Mmmm....

I think you're thinking of this thread.

Peter, did you end up saving any of the unhatched eggs, or is this for next time?

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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So you finally did it, eh? I remember your original post about slaughtering those chickens. (So, what became of that? I can't find a link somehow... did you post pictures of it?)

As I said in that post, I think my mom has said something about making a soup out the ovaries, presumably including these eggs? I don't know for sure, unfortunately. You might want to ask in the China & Chinese Cuisine forum if this preparation sounds appealing.

I wonder, did you save the chicken feet? Mmmm....

I think you're thinking of this thread.

Peter, did you end up saving any of the unhatched eggs, or is this for next time?

Interesting thread, can't believe I missed it. Wasn't me, it was Ktepi.

I admired the proto-eggs only. Next year it will be different!

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Peter, in the Philippines we would add those unlaid eggs in our chicken rice porridge (Arroz Caldo or Jook in chinese). And yes, we fought over for them too.

Doddie aka Domestic Goddess

"Nobody loves pork more than a Filipino"

eGFoodblog: Adobo and Fried Chicken in Korea

The dark side... my own blog: A Box of Jalapenos

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I've eaten the unlaid eggs and cocks combs at yakitori places often. In good supermarkets I can buy both. Ovaduct/whatever tube the egg comes out of, is also on the menu. both delicious.

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When we lived in the Bronx I remember going with my grandfather to the live poltury market on Bathgate Avenue, picking the chicken out of the crate, having it killed, flicked and taking it home smelling like wet feathers. I remember the string of eggs. They tasted great cooked in soup. Great memories.

Jmahl

The Philip Mahl Community teaching kitchen is now open. Check it out. "Philip Mahl Memorial Kitchen" on Facebook. Website coming soon.

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