A few months ago, I embarked upon my first whole-chicken preparation experience. It was quite the ordeal, though after much work and a few gross-out moments, the results were worthy of a heartfelt, “Woo hoo!” This was largely due to the sage advice I received via FoodNetwork.com from my pal (I wish) Ina Garten, the master of the poultry. And as it turns out, Ms. Garten not only knows a thing or two about the chicken’s full feathered form, but she also holds much wisdom about its humble beginnings.
Unless they’re being mixed into cookie dough or folded into soufflés, eggs are not of high-frequency use in our house. Jared is an egg fan and eats them (fried, scrambled or poached) with toast on occasion, but the bloodhound of a nose I’ve inherited from my mom makes any form of egg-making an open-the-windows-turn-on-the-fans-and-air-out-the-house-immediately sort of thing. Yes, I realize I’m insanely lucky to have a husband who appeases my unreasonable egg-smell phobia. He’s a good egg, no doubt.
But like a kiddo who hates broccoli despite its overall good-for-you-ness, I understand full well that just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean it isn’t good for me. And because I’ve been trying to up my overall protein intake (peanut butter and black beans can only get me so far, you know?), I thought I’d give hard-boiled eggs a try. It’s arguably the least fragrant means of preparation, so that’s a definite plus. And it’s easy peasy to take out the yolk (ick) and just stick with the protein-filled whites. And Easter is coming soon, so it’s high time I mastered this egg business.
So here we are back at Ina. It’s been my experience that a lot of hard-boiled eggs are über rubbery with sad gray yolks. Not exactly appetizing, especially if you’re egg-cautious to begin with. But Ina assured viewers during an “Ask Ina” moment from her show that her method is dandy and foolproof (I’m probably paraphrasing there). And it’s another home run for the Barefoot Contessa. That lady knows her chicken.
From Ina Garten
• extra-large eggs (however many strike your fancy)
Place eggs in a heavy saucepan, and fill with cold water until eggs are covered. Bring water to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat. Allow eggs to sit in the hot water for 15 minutes. Then remove eggs from saucepan and place in a bowl; allow to sit for another 2 minutes. Once eggs are cool enough to handle, crack each end, and slowly roll the egg in your hand until the shell cracks and comes lose. Discard the shell.
Now granted, I’m not an egg-eater, but the results were pretty great: easy-to-peel shells and fluffy yellow yolks (none of that grayish business). Jared the egg man assures me they are tasty, too. I choked one down and brushed my teeth immediately afterward. Protein quota = success.
Where do you stand on the egg front? Are you a major fan? A fair weather fan? What’s your favorite kind? And while we’re talking eggs, any great tips for taking away the eggy flavor without adding too much else as far as calories and ingredients are concerned?