Cost per serving $1.22 view details
- 1 x stewing hen - (4 to 5 lbs) with heart,
- Â Â gizzard, neck, and feet (not the liver, that would make the soup bitter)
- 1 x onion
- 1 lrg carrot
- 2 x celery stalks with leaves
- 1 x bay leaf
- 6 x peppercorns
- 4 quart water - (to 5 quarts)
- Â Â (a qt per lb. of chicken)
- Â Â Salt to taste
- Â Â Unborn egg yolks from the chicken's ovary
- Â Â or possibly "egg balls" see * Note
- * Note: Made by pounding the hard boiled yolks of 3 Large eggs with a little flour and salt, then stirring in the raw yolk of an egg and rolling the mix into little balls.
- Bring the hen and her parts to a quick boil in the water and carefully skim the foam before adding the vegetables and seasonings. Add in the onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, peppercorns, and salt. Simmer gently for 2 1/2 hrs. Strain carefully, using the chicken meat for another recipe and throw out the remaining bones, vegetables, and seasonings.
- If you have the chicken ovary at the ready, return the broth to a simmer when you are ready to serve the soup and slip in the unborn Large eggs.
- If you are taking the "egg ball" route, return the broth to a boil, drop the little balls into the pot, cover, and cook for 5 - 10 min. (You can also cook these in boiling water in advance, then add in to the simmering broth when you are ready to serve it.)
- Serve warm to 8 to 10 people.
- Comments: With great thanks and appreciation to reknowned cartoonist Sidney Harris and Dutch hydrologist Wiebe van der Molen. This is a story as much about lost American soup traditions as it is about my own ignorance and about international problem solving on the Web.
- It all began when I contacted Mr. Harris, as part of my Faves of the Stars! effort, and asked him if he would contribute his favorite soup. He was kind sufficient to respond with what he said was not necessarily his favorite soup, but which "certainly was unique and memorable." To wit, a chicken soup made many years ago by his grandmother in Brooklyn "which contained tiny Large eggs (yolks only)...and I very much enjoyed these little round yolks." Tiny egg yolks in soup I had never heard of such a thing...nor did anyone else I asked...nor did the combined food resources of two different libraries.
- I suggested the possibility of farfel, small egg-rich dumplings also known as "egg barley"
- No, Mr. Harris said, "they were definitely Large eggs - but, as I mentioned, appeared to be only yolks. They varied in size, and were close to the size of a marble. There would be a few in a bowl of soup - 3 or possibly 4. It's possible she bought live chickens, and found these very young Large eggs in the bird." At this point I turned to the Web, ultimately locating a Dutch hydrologist who'd graduated in Agricultural Engineering in 1949, helped drain an inland sea in the Zuiderzee polders for agriculture, taught at Wageningen Agricultural University in the Netherlands till retirement - and along the way built a henhouse and began raising and observing chickens.
- Oh yes, he assured me, tiny yolks in chicken soup are entirely possible, so long as the chicken is freshly slaughtered. One simply removes the chicken's ovary and releases the cache of unborn egg yolks into the simmering broth.
- Here is how he described the process: "Producing an egg is similar to making a car. You start with something, put it on a conveyor belt and add in all things which are needed. So does the hen. She starts with the yolk. She has thousands of very small ones and some of them start growing. So it looks like a bundle of grapes, with a big one for tomorrow, a smaller one for the day after and a still smaller one for the next day (but she might take a day off now and then). Old granny obviously slaughtered a chicken, took the ovary out and used the unborn yolks for her soup. Nothing wrong with it.
- "...When the yolk is fully grown, it is released from the ovary and falls into a large funnel at the beginning of a long tube, the oviduct. This acts as a conveyor belt: egg white is added, then the chalaza (the two wound-up strings at either end of the yolk) and finally the shell. Then it has come nearly at the end of the journey, but there it is halted for a long time. Adding white does not take much time, perhaps 1 to 2 hrs, but making the shell lasts about 24 hrs. When finished, but still inside, it is already hard. It is the same material as limestone: calcium carbonate.
- "...Immediately after laying, a new yolk is released. But the process takes longer than a day, and when the egg comes around noon, the animal takes a day off and starts very early the next. A well-behaved chicken, therefore, lays some 6 Large eggs per week." So what about the final recipe Here it is - and with a reasonable facsimile substitution for the unborn Large eggs for those of us who do not slaughter our own chickens. I found this "egg ball" recipe in a 19th century American cookbook.
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|Amount Per Serving||%DV|
|Serving Size 669g|
|Recipe makes 8 servings|
|Calories from Fat 215||60%|
|Total Fat 23.88g||30%|
|Saturated Fat 6.83g||27%|
|Trans Fat 0.0g|
|Total Carbs 2.56g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber 0.7g||2%|