Free Range Eggs

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by brexs, May 8, 2005.

  1. brexs

    brexs

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    I've heard chefs say free range chicken eggs all they use when using eggs. How much affect does this have on the dish?
     
  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

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    My brother in law has 6-8 chickens that roam his property eating freely. They came to see what the ruckus was on the lawn as we played croquet. When I visit, as we did today as his mother--my mother-in-law--lives with him. He gives us eggs to take home. Not many as he uses them too, so I only got three big green shelled eggs this visit. My three kids will ask for them for breakfast tomorrow morning.

    The yolks are much darker and vibrant in color than average store eggs, and I think have a more distinct eggy flavor. It's not a huge difference in taste, but presentation and hollandaise made with these eggs are noticably different. These also have a somewhat thicker yolk when raw and when cooked "soft".

    Phil
     
  3. redace1960

    redace1960

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    theres 'free range', the commercial appellation, and 'free range' the descriptive term .
    "free range" as used in the trade means chickens that are kept in a large outdoor moveable pen-think of a chickenwire box with no bottom. every few days someone scoots this pen over a few feet onto a new patch
    of grass. the chickens feed is supplemented with 'store bought'n' as well. this type of culture has more affect on the way the meat tastes than the eggs; layers aren't usually kept like this.
    "free range" as a general term means chickens that have been roosting in trees and dodging farm equipment most of their lives. the quality of the meat completely depends on the breed and the feed; therefore VISIT THE FARM. but the eggs are uniformly superior in taste. this seem to be the case no matter what the conditions or feed. they have a richer, more vibrant flavor and the structure of the white is sturdier. mile high meringue (sp?) however, we near the canadian/us border are banned from buying and selling these guys because of the Avian Flu bug.
     
  4. redace1960

    redace1960

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    whoops, here's another definition:
    'free range' is also used to mean chickens which aren't raised one to a cage in batteries. does that mean they're free range? only if you define that as spending their entire lives indoors roaming around in a group eating commercial feed. its a slippery issue. basically all 'free range' means any more is that the chickens had a marginally happier life than a de-beaked, tube fed battery hen.
     
  5. keeperofthegood

    keeperofthegood

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    Hey oh

    To me, free ranged means I spend a dollar a dozen extra and it is well worth that dollar. There is an egg farmer I will go see for eggs (ahh, back in the good old days when I had a car :( ). She has no cages for her birds, they litterally run free around the property, and I think they build their own nests (or maybe she has a prefab I should ask next time I am there). The eggs are denser and sweeter, and carry a far better flavour than any others I have eaten! She feeds with all organic and natural products too, not with food pellets.
     
  6. gonefishin

    gonefishin

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    If your an egg lover, like I am, fresh chicken eggs are a treat. The yoke is dense with more depth of flavor...and the eggs holds their shape sooo much better than store bought eggs.

    It's funny, but the flavor I taste now from a freshly laid (still warm) egg reminds me of how store bought eggs used to taste when I was child. I do remember that there used to be a chicken farm in a near by town that had long since closed down. I wonder if the eggs at our grocery store were just fresher than what you find now.

    As to what is Free Range Chickens? The USDA only requires that the hen has access to the outdoors. There's nothing stated about how many hens to an area, size of area, space per bird or environment that they're raised in. Great marketing term though.

    Fresh eggs are great. My advice would be to find someone local that raises chickens and ask if you could occasionally buy some fresh chicken eggs. Then you could pick them up while they're still warm :)

    Ahhh...I just looked and see your from Rockford, Illinois. I did a search for farms selling eggs in Rockford and came up with a couple hobbyist farmers that sell chicken eggs and occasionally goose eggs. (I've got no connection with farm) Do a search for Jzchickenlady. This is one of the e-mail addresses that I came up with. If they still sell to the public...it may be a perfect opportunity for you :D

    To add to this...I'd advise the same for all your vegetables. If you don't want to plant your own garden, find a local farmer who sells to the public. To take it one step further...fresh beef, pork and poultry are also a nice treat :lips:

    Happy eating!
     
  7. keeperofthegood

    keeperofthegood

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    Hey oh

    I agree totally on the fresh veg too. When I was a youngster, my father and my grandfather both had gardens, and we grew most of our vegtables. Carrots, potatoes, beets, green beans, etc were served both fresh in summer and as bottled preserves in winter. Only recently did I find a few farms doing truly organic gardening of these. By this, I mean, you need to know what the plant looks like to go routing through the bush that is the garden for them. Although it looks like no rhyme or reason, by having such a diverse planting, natural pests and predators take care of each other, and leave the plants alone. If you want true flavour in your carrots and cucumbers etc this is the only way to go!
     
  8. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    My friend Monica is raising pastured chicken.

    www.doremifarm.com

    It's pretty good stuff, and so are the eggs. She does turkeys as well.

    With making Hollandaise, the correct amount of butter to add is until the sauce stops tasting like an egg. That's the way I was taught.
     
  9. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    I bought 30 dozen farm-fresh eggs from a producer through our local farmers' market. We had brunch on Mothers' Day and I prepare eggs and omelets to order in the dining room. I paid $1.50 per dozen. There is a big difference in sizes- from small to large, and during brunch I did get one tinted red... But over all they worked great. Fresh eggs cooked in butter, one of my only guilty pleasures I refuse to give up!
     
  10. redace1960

    redace1960

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    up until last year i had my pick of fresh eggs-every breed of chicken you can imagine, plus duck, turkey and quail......and they all came from birds that wandered at large eating a natural diet. it was heaven! since the ban on selling home raised fowl came up last year that's a thing of the past. (when you outlaw poultry, only outlaws will have poultry.) I guess avian flu is really a worry on this end of the us-can border, though...we have to bag up ANY dead birds we find and turn them in to the health department. there was even a whole 'how-to' segment on the news about it a couple of months ago.
     
  11. brexs

    brexs

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    Wow, thanks for all the responses. I'll have to follow up on all the tips.