The second thing you need to know how to prepare—perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs. This is part of basic cooking knowledge. You want beautiful, bright yellow yolks with no dark, green rings around them. This is a perfectly cooked egg yolk. This is how you do it. First, let’s talk eggs. There are a few truths. Fresh eggs don’t tend to peel as well as slightly older eggs. I’m not talking months old here, okay? But eggs that are a week or two from the hen house will peel much easier than the one’s you pick this morning that are still warm from the chicken. You have chickens in your back yards, don’t you? I don’t, but I know people who do and they are kind enough to keep me supplied with eggs. These eggs shown here, are from my local supermarket, so generally this is a moot point, because it takes several weeks for most eggs to reach the supermarket shelves in the first place. But just be aware.
Eggs that are fresh will sink in the water, but eggs that are older will float, one end up, like in this picture…see the three on the right? The water looks dark here, because this is the water in which I boiled the potatoes for the potato salad. I used Option II for these eggs.
After the timer went off, and I would encourage you to use a timer for either of the options given, I drained the eggs, placed them in a bowl with ice and ran cold water over them until the were covered by about an inch. After a couple of minutes, I took the back of a teaspoon and gently rapped on them until they were entirely cracked, then returned them to the ice water to continue to cool completely. You want them to be completely cooled before you peel them. That takes about 15-30 minutes. I usually gently roll the egg between my palms to loosen the shells. Some people swear by peeling them under cold, running water. Use whatever method works best for you.
Here are the peeled eggs. What happened to the one on the right? That’s one of the old egg…remember the three floaters? This is one of them. I know, I know…I said you should use old eggs…bear with me here. I left those 3 eggs sit on the counter for a week. The way I understand it, since eggshells are air permeable, there’s been a bit of evaporation, causing this dimple. These eggs are completely edible, were incredibly easy to peel, but won’t look great if you’re using them for deviled eggs. In potato, egg or tuna salad, it won’t matter and peeling will be so very easy.
Either of these options work, but I still prefer the second, as I think the eggs peel better when added to hot water, rather than cold.
Option I—Place your eggs (at least 6-8) in a saucepan; cover with water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, cover and set aside 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Plunge the eggs into ice water, cool for a couple of minutes, then rap with the bowl of a spoon to crack them, return them to the ice water to cool completely, about 15-30 minutes. Peel and use as desired.
Option II—Bring the water (at least 5 or 6 cups–you want the eggs covered by at least 1 inch of water) to a boil, add 1 cup cold tap water, then add at least 6-8 eggs. You may as well cook that many, as you can add them to all sorts of things, eat them as is, or use as a garnish. I use a spoon to lower the eggs into the water. Return to the boil, lower the heat and continue to cook, uncovered for 6-10 minutes. The time depends on whether the eggs were in the fridge of not and the size of the eggs. Immediately, drain the eggs and plunge them into ice water. After about 2 minutes, when you can handle them, use the back of a spoon and gently rap them, cracking them thoroughly. As you do this, put them back in the ice water to cool completely, at least 15-30 minutes. Peel and use as desired.
These are some guinea hen eggs I was gifted. They are lovely and cute and the perfect size for cocktail deviled eggs. I’ve placed them next to a jumbo-sized chicken egg. The jumbo egg took 10 minutes to boil (Option II) and the guinea hen eggs took 6 minutes to boil. They both had lovely, bright yellow yolks, that were just ever-so slightly soft in the center. If that’s not your preference, boil for an additional minute.