I don’t have a coop. But lucky for me I know someone who does.
I’m a bit of an egghead. I know, last week I was a picklehead, now I’m an egghead and soon enough you’ll be reading about me becoming a cheesehead. Yes, a real-live Wisconsin cheesehead. But you’ll be hearing of that soon enough.
Back to the eggs.
Backyard chicken coops are the of-the-moment-hipster-hobby. It seems like the more dependent we become on our beloved digital devices (phones, televisions, cameras, computers) the more we crave anti-technology time (crafting, gardening, exercising, cooking.) And nothing seems more back-to-our-roots than farming. And the easiest way to farm for many of us is to put up a couple of chickens in the back forty—or 10 X 10 square—and enjoy the fruits of our free-range, hormone-free, freshly-laid orb.
The closest I’ve ever gotten to having a chicken coop was back when we were first married. Our beloved
child dog Akasha, a one-year-old Alaskan Malamute, escaped from the backyard while we were at work and went on a walk-about through the neighborhood. Soon enough she found herself inside the neighbor’s chicken coop. What a time she must have had, which I found out for myself soon enough.
As I drove up the street and pulled into the driveway, I was met by my neighbor and his grandson, both of whom I had never met. Apparently the teenage grandson had raised prize chickens at his grandfather’s home. “Had” as in “past tense” thanks to Akasha’s visit to the coop and grandpa’s presentation of the four dead chickens she had played tag with. And won.
As I was writing out the check and apologizing profusely, my husband drove into the driveway, wondering what the hell was going on. Dead chickens laid out on the cement, angry people he didn’t know and one pissed off wife who greeted him with, “Look what YOUR dog did!”
Yep, his dog. But only when something went wrong. Am I right? Meanwhile, Akasha was tied up to a tree back at their house, and lucky for us she did get to come home.
For the next 14 years my husband would never let me forget that Akasha was HIS dog, but only when she was good, not when she unearthed the ficus tree and drug it around the living room or pulled all of the stuffing out of the couch so it looked like we lived on cloud 9.
And that’s what brings me to these eggs. My intern Elyse was living with a friend who had a chicken coop and after 2 months of hinting, on her last day working with me she brought me 18 eggs as a farewell present. I’ve been coveting them, using them sparingly in hopes they would last for months. But fresh eggs don’t stand a chance in our house.
I am not a fan of grocery store eggs, and unless I’m making deviled eggs (for some reason the regular eggs always peel better for me) I only use DHA-fortified. The difference in consistency and color isn’t even comparable and I like supporting my local egg producer instead of a large grocery store chain.
But these eggs. Oh my, my. I mean look at this shot. That photo hasn’t been color corrected or pushed up in saturation. That is the real color. Stunning. And better than their beauty shot is that they’re delicious.
I’m thoroughly enjoying this frittata today. But tomorrow I’m going for the most basic prep of an egg, a nice soft-boiled egg with a touch of salt and toast for dipping.
As long as my dogs don’t get to them first.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- On a small sheet pan topped with foil, add tomatoes and garlic and drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and pepper and toss to coat. Sprinkle with oregano leaves and roast in oven for 15 minutes. Remove and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, 1/4 cup of parmesan and salt.
- In a 9-inch saucepan over medium high heat, melt butter with olive oil. Add zucchini and a sprinkle of salt and sauté for 5 minutes or just until zucchini starts to lightly brown.
- Add egg mixture to saucepan and top egg with tomatoes and fresh oregano. As egg cooks, lift edges of egg from sides of pan and tilt so uncooked portion runs to the edges. Repeat process and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Place pan in oven and bake for 5 minutes or until frittata has puffed and edges of egg have started to pull apart from the pan. Remove from oven and garnish with additional parmesan and more fresh oregano if desired. Cut into wedges and serve.