I love, love LOVE boiled eggs (or “oeufs a la coque” as we called them). Dipping my little bread and butter soldiers in the yolk makes me feel like I am 5 all over again. Boiled eggs was a classic for dinner when I was a kid. My sister and I would finish them as fast as possible, then turn them on their heads while my parents had their back turned (or did they?) and pretend we had not eaten them and were refusing to. My mom or dad would then pretend to be very angry, and tap the egg with a spoon to “discover”, oh wonder, that the shell was empty. We were going through this ritual almost every time and I remember thinking “I am so clever, can’t believe they still fall for it..hahaha”…. yeah right.
Anyway, when I found duck eggs in my weekly shopping delivery (I always do my grocery shopping online) instead of the chicken eggs I had ordered, I thought it screamed for giant oeufs a la coque!
I had a quick look online to figure out how long I had to cook my duck eggs as they are bigger than chicken eggs and the shell is thicker. I found anything between 6 and 8 minutes. I put mine in already boiling water for 6 minutes (as opposed to 3 minutes for chicken eggs) and the result was perfect. I had to cut the ‘hat’ with a pointy knife as the shell was really thick.
Boiled duck eggs are superior to chicken eggs in my opinion. First, they are bigger so they is more yolk to dip my bread soldiers in (yay!) but also I like that the white is firmer (I read it was due to the higher albumin content). I hate slimy white in boiled eggs, so I tend to overcook them when I use chicken eggs, and then I miss out on the runny yolk. With duck eggs I did not have that problem: the white was as firm as could be, and the yolk very runny (again, I read it tends to stay more runny as higher in fat than chicken eggs).
For the “salmonella” conscious people among you, I have found conflicting results in my research: I found that duck eggs were less susceptible to be infected with salmonella as the shell is thicker and less porous. But in the UK there has been a big outbreak of salmonella 3 years ago, so people seem wary about eating them. I usually go for free-range, good quality eggs, and that is as far as I will go in terms of restrictions. But then that is just me!