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Organic Turkey Eggs from Willie Bird (Santa Rosa)

Melanie Wong Sep 10, 2007 10:17 PM

Observing the month of September's Eat Local Challenge ( http://eatlocalchallenge.com/ ) in Sonoma County is not much of a "challenge". To make this a more meaningful learning experience for me, I've been trying doubly hard to seek out local food stuffs I've not cooked with before. Saturday afternoon I headed over to the Willie Bird store in Santa Rosa to pick up some ground turkey and carcasses and noticed the "turkey eggs" sign taped on the front door. I've not noticed it before, so this was something new to get excited about. Sold by the flat of 20 eggs for $2.00, these are organic eggs from Willie Bird's own flock.

I asked if these were "gamey" in flavor like duck eggs. The clerk said that they taste just like chicken eggs, just bigger. They're about twice the volume of a "large" chicken egg. She also advised that the shells and membranes are tougher and harder to crack.

Flat of Willie Bird turkey eggs -

Back at the kitchen, I tried cracking them on the edge of the tile counter. One blow would crack the shell, but a second whack next to the first crack was needed to extend the fissure enough to separate the halves of the shell. But perhaps the best way to describe the toughness of the shells is to pass on that my very heavy handbag (stuffed with camera, sunglasses, check book, phone, PDA, etc.) flew off the seat when I had to slam on the brakes suddenly when an oncoming car swerved into my lane and landed on the eggs. I'd put the open flat on the floor on the passenger side. None of the turkey eggs broke or even cracked. Amazing.


More about turkey eggs -

Willie Bird Turkeys
5350 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA

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  1. m
    misscotati RE: Melanie Wong Sep 11, 2007 07:31 AM

    So how did they taste? I love Willie Birds.

    8 Replies
    1. re: misscotati
      oakjoan RE: misscotati Sep 11, 2007 01:32 PM

      Yeah! How were they? I also love Willie Birds. You're lucky to have them nearby.

      1. re: misscotati
        Melanie Wong RE: misscotati Sep 11, 2007 08:46 PM

        I used two to thicken a bechamel sauce for moussaka and one for the meatloaf I left behind to make sandwiches. While I meant to crack one open to fry it for a taste test, I ran out of time. The eggs are 60 miles away at my friends' farmhouse. So, we'll have to wait to hear from Ms. ninja for a tasting note. I'm looking forward to making GIANT deviled eggs with them next weekend.

        1. re: Melanie Wong
          512window RE: Melanie Wong Sep 12, 2007 02:23 PM

          Many years ago I had a friend who worked on a turkey ranch. He brought down several dozen eggs before a party once, and I made deviled eggs.

          A lot of the eggs were double yolked! It was like deviled eggs from Mars.

          1. re: 512window
            Melanie Wong RE: 512window Sep 12, 2007 07:43 PM

            I've always spooned the yolk mixture to fill the egg whites, but I think I'll have to use a makeshift pastry bag to pipe it in for more pizzaz.

            1. re: Melanie Wong
              Euonymous RE: Melanie Wong Sep 12, 2007 10:55 PM

              Spoon the devilled yolk mixture into a ziploc bag, snip a bit off of one corner, and pipe them in tightly. Sprinkle with plain or (even better) smoked paprika, and you're done.

              It's way old-fashioned, but I've found that most people love them if you add some horseradish and celery seeds to the usual stuffing.


              1. re: Euonymous
                Melanie Wong RE: Euonymous Sep 19, 2007 07:49 PM

                Thanks, I went with the classic mayonnaise, chopped shallots, and dry mustard, plus a sprinkling of paprika on top. I tried using a ziploc to pipe the filling, but my friends only had sandwich bag size and the seam split when I squeezed it!

                Oh, and for Sharuf, I usually leave my large chicken eggs to steep for 11 minutes after coming to a boil. I steeped the turkey eggs for 18 minutes, and they were a little overdone.

                At this size, they were dramatic on the plate!

              2. re: Melanie Wong
                oakjoan RE: Melanie Wong Sep 22, 2007 10:37 PM

                Or an ice cream scoop!

            2. re: Melanie Wong
              Sharuf RE: Melanie Wong Sep 13, 2007 03:17 AM

              What is the timing for hard-boiled turkey eggs? For chicken eggs, I use the bring to a boil, take it off, cover and let sit for 15 minutes method.

              Love the idea of deviled turkey eggs for the next potluck -- that'll get their attention!.

          2. pane RE: Melanie Wong Sep 11, 2007 02:06 PM

            Love your report!

            On the local egg front, recently I tried Devil's Gulch Ranch chicken eggs, and I was immediately hooked! They were expensive--I think about $3.50 for a pack of 6, but the texture and taste are excellent. I bought them at Bi-Rite.

            1 Reply
            1. re: pane
              Melanie Wong RE: pane Sep 11, 2007 08:49 PM

              You know what my purse looks like and can truly appreciate the miraculous nature of this feat! If I were an adolescent boy, I'd probably experiment with dropping the turkey eggs from various heights to see what they can withstand.

            2. chocolateninja RE: Melanie Wong Sep 11, 2007 02:10 PM

              So I just called Willie Bird, and they said that they currently have eggs for sale today...so I'm going to ride my bike down there later and pick some up. I'm excited! I've never had turkey eggs before. I'll cook some up and let y'all know how they taste.

              3 Replies
              1. re: chocolateninja
                Melanie Wong RE: chocolateninja Sep 11, 2007 08:50 PM

                I was surprised at the lemon yellow color of the yolks. Also, the whites didn't set up as high and firm as the extra large cage-free Clover-Stornetta chicken eggs I used to make lunch that day. Looking forward to your taste test!

                1. re: chocolateninja
                  chocolateninja RE: chocolateninja Sep 13, 2007 12:27 PM

                  My rather unofficial taste test of Willie Bird turkey eggs started yesterday, with breakfast. In the mood for a fried egg sammich, I decided to do a bit of a comparison between the turkey egg and a chicken egg (ones in my fridge currently: Rock Island brand brown large grade AA...carton says they are from Sonoma county, cage-free, no hormones or antibiotics...generally they are pretty good...not quite fresh from the coop, but much better than say, generic Safeway brand). Noticed that the turkey egg was tougher to crack (pretty speckled brown shell though!). Yolk was a pleasant lemony yellow, and bigger than the chicken egg yolk, but not as big as I imagined it would be. Cooked up just the same as the chicken egg, Tastewise, it was very similar to the chicken egg, except that perhaps the egg white was...hmm...how to explain this..."more" white...not tougher exactly, but a bit thicker, and the egg white flavour more pronounced. I enjoyed it! Second tasting this morning for breakfast, this time making scrambled eggs. Used two turkey eggs, no chicken eggs. Loved the results...made a dense, tasty scramble that didn't put off that little bit of liquid that I sometimes get when I make scrambled eggs with chicken eggs. I'm thinking it has something to do with the makeup of the turkey egg whites, but it could just be that I finally cooked a nearly perfect pan of scrambled eggs. Hah. Next I'm going to try baking with them...I have a zucchini bread recipe that requires several eggs, and a mutant zucchini that needs to be dealt with. We'll see what happens! Ooh, and I should boil some up and make an egg salad sammich...I haven't had one of those in a while.

                  When I picked up my eggs and asked how much longer they would be selling them, the lady behind the counter (who seemed slightly bemused by the fact that I was excitedly rushing into her shop at five minutes til closing and attempting to take home a whole flat of eggs on my bike) said that the eggs should be available "for a while"...so I'm guessing that means at least for the rest of the month. I'd grab these while you can...such a deal at $2 for a flat of 20!

                  1. re: chocolateninja
                    Melanie Wong RE: chocolateninja Sep 19, 2007 07:51 PM

                    Thanks for the tasting notes! I agree that the whites are "whiter", almost chalky vs. the less saturated and kinda bluish appearance of a chicken egg. They cooked up stiffer too and had more flavor.

                2. b
                  BN1 RE: Melanie Wong Sep 11, 2007 10:23 PM

                  It was really strange to see this post. I had breakfast at Willie Bird’s Restaurant this Sunday morning right under the picture of a couple of Willie Birds being plucked or forced to sing or something. I wonder if they used those eggs in my omelet?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: BN1
                    Melanie Wong RE: BN1 Sep 11, 2007 11:16 PM

                    Do tell us about your breakfast!

                    Willie Bird's Restaurant
                    1150 Santa Rosa Ave, Santa Rosa, CA 95404

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      BN1 RE: Melanie Wong Sep 12, 2007 08:32 AM

                      I chose Willie Bird because it looked like a local haunt and anyplace that serves cocktails at breakfast can’t be all bad. I passed on the Bloody Mary so I can’t report. The breakfast was just regular fare, but well prepared. We had two different omelets; both were well executed and slightly fluffy. However, what was going on with that bird in the picture; was that the world champion Willie Bird?

                  2. Melanie Wong RE: Melanie Wong Oct 10, 2007 12:51 AM


                    Willie Bird Turkeys
                    5350 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA

                    1. Glencora RE: Melanie Wong Nov 16, 2007 12:39 PM

                      Does anyone know of anywhere I can buy turkey eggs in the East Bay? I have a feeling the answer is going to be no. I need a little something extra to serve before Thanksgiving dinner and deviled turkey eggs seemed appropriate, if a bit silly.

                      1. hhc RE: Melanie Wong Nov 17, 2007 04:18 PM

                        I went to Willie Bird Turkey in Santa Rosa Sat 11/17/07 and asked if they had any more turkey eggs. Seems they won't until January 2008.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: hhc
                          Glencora RE: hhc Nov 17, 2007 05:36 PM

                          Well, I suppose if they don't want to lay eggs in the winter, then they don't want to lay eggs. Thanks for the information.

                          1. re: hhc
                            chocolateninja RE: hhc Feb 1, 2008 01:44 PM

                            Just called Willie Birds...and the turkey eggs are back! $3 for a flat of 18. Such a deal! Nothing like a weekend breakfast of turkey egg omelette with a bit of "Chef Claudio's" homemade pancetta and a soulwarming cup of Ecco Caffe coffee...eating locally has never tasted so good!

                            1. re: hhc
                              hhc RE: hhc Jan 19, 2014 09:24 AM

                              I've tried for years to get those organic turkey eggs. Again I asked Sat 1/18/14 and they lady said they don't have turkey eggs it's been years - so Melanie was lucky to get them back in 2007. No more turkey eggs!

                              Got instead: smoked whole chicken, smoked turkey leg, smoked turkey thigh/leg piece.

                            2. Melanie Wong RE: Melanie Wong Feb 23, 2009 02:42 PM

                              I stopped by the Willie Bird store on Friday to pick up a carcass to make stock (70¢/lb, quite meaty), and was so happy to see the eggs in the case again! They're $4 for a flat of 20 eggs.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Melanie Wong
                                Tripeler RE: Melanie Wong Jan 19, 2014 05:19 PM

                                Even at $4 for 20 eggs they are still a bargain. Thanks for this interesting thread.

                                1. re: Tripeler
                                  hhc RE: Tripeler Jan 19, 2014 06:36 PM

                                  Tripeler: they no longer sell the turkey eggs, that was what I wanted to report.

                                  Willie Bird Turkeys
                                  5350 Sebastopol Rd, Santa Rosa, CA

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