one of peculiarities of having fresh eggs from backyard hens is that the shells are really, really hard and the membrane between the shell and whites is firmly attached to both after cooking which can lead much frustration when trying to make a when you hard boiled egg or egg salad sandwich since you spend your time picking away pieces of shell only to remove large chunks of the egg whites that are stuck to the membrane. no fun!
this is actually one of the better looking examples of a hard boiled egg using our normal method of cooking – put the egg in water, heat to a boil, cook for seven minutes after boiling begins and rinse in cold water. there must be a better way.
we polled various friends who have backyard birds and got a range of responses. the most common was to set eggs aside for a week or two ( plausible suggestion but seemed a pain to have to segregate eggs ). anothers suggested dunking the eggs in ice water after boiling ( we tried that, it didn’t work ) and others suggested adding a bit of vinegar to the boiling water to soften the shell ( didn’t like the idea of having to remember to add vingar and wondered if it would affect the taste ).
one person said the answer was stupendously simple. drop the eggs in the water after it had started to boil. it was so simple we had to try it.
first, drop the eggs carefully into boiling water.
boil for 6 minutes or so.
don’t rinse in cold water – let cool in ambient air for 10 minutes ( presumably the membrane is still cooking/breaking down ).
well look at that! a nice, clean peel! if you look closely, the membrane has cleanly separated from the shell and the egg white. amazingly simple!
after 6-ish minutes in boiling water the egg yolk is best described as “soft-boiled”. while this is perfectly cooked to my taste, if you like hard yolks, you might want to cook for a minute longer.