I have an obsession with chickens. I blame my formative years of watching The Muppet Show and being particularly fond of Gonzo and his chickens. Someday, when I’m landed in one spot that allows for urban hens, I’m determined to have my own chicken flock. For the time being, however, in a rural agricultural area, it’s easy enough to have conversations with others at work that have, or have had, rural or urban livestock. I was fortunate at my past job to have a co-worker who raises hens and also has guinea fowl. I had the chance to hear many stories about her flock, including quite a few stories about the guinea rooster who has a propensity for chasing after the chickens. I don’t think it’s a guinea rooster who is going to be long for this world because of his bullying behavior, in fact. The guinea hens, however, are apparently champion layers. One day a few weeks ago, my co-worker offered to bring me a dozen guinea hen eggs, and of course, I accepted.
Guinea hen eggs are smaller than chicken eggs and a bit pointier on one end. As I did some research to figure out what to do with these, I learned that one major difference between guinea hen eggs and chicken eggs is that the former are have much thicker shells, so can be tougher to crack. The actual eggs are described as having a deeper yellow yolk and as being creamier and more egg-y than chicken eggs.
I’m not sure why there is something a bit strange to me about eating an egg that didn’t come from a chicken. I’ve passed up duck eggs and geese eggs at the farmers market before, but I think I’m a convert now for non-chicken eggs. The guinea hen eggs are spectacular – the yolks are golden, and I think I may use the seven eggs I have left and make some homemade pasta with them. As is, they boiled up beautifully. Indeed, the only challenge was that I had to really whack them to break up the sh
ells – the shells are so thick!
This salad could definitely be made with hard-boiled chicken eggs as well. If you happen to have access to a different kind of bird egg, though, I encourage you to try them.
Roasted Asparagus and Egg Salad
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
½ bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the asparagus in a single layer on the sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 10 minutes and then flip the asparagus. Bake for another 10 -15 minutes, until asparagus is a bit crisped and soft. Plate with the hard boiled eggs on top and drizzle with lemony avocado dressing.
Lemony Avocado Dressing
Juice from ½ lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Add a bit of water or more olive oil if the dressing is too thick.