The eggs of the guinea-fowl—which are small, very prettily shaped, and of a pale or full fawn-colour (for in this they vary)—are much esteemed by epicures, being very rich and excellent eating. They are generally somewhat higher in price than the common hens’ eggs, even in Norfolk, Suffolk, and other counties where they most abound; and in London they are usually expensive. They may be cooked in the shell without boiling by the method we have already given: eight or nine minutes will cook them so. About three and a half of gentle boiling will render the whites firm, and ten will harden them quite through. They are often served instead of plovers’ eggs, and are sent to table embedded in moss in the same manner. They may also be shelled, and used whole to decorate a salad.
The eggs of the bantam, which are scarcely more than half the size of these, and of which the shells are much thinner, will require less time to cook. They form an elegant decoration for a salad, if boiled hard, which they will become in five or six minutes; and for a mince of fowl, or veal and oysters, when poached.
Two minutes’ poaching in an enamelled saucepan* will be sufficient for these delicate little eggs, without positive boiling. They should be carefully broken and put gently into water at boiling point, but which has ceased to move, and left undisturbed by the side of the fire until the yolks are just set on the surface.
guinea-fowls’ eggs, quite hard, 10 minutes. For eating (by new method, 8 to 9 minutes), 3 to 4 minutes.
Bantams’, hard, 6 minutes; soft, 2½ to 3 minutes.
* In any other kind, an additional half minute may be required.