Frying fresh chicken eggs
One of our two new hens have just started laying. Very exciting!!! But finding frying the eggs (sunny-side up, easy over, omelets) a bit challenging. The store-bought kind we've bought -- even organic, free-range --have had a slight rubberiness that makes them easy to flip. The just laid ones we're getting now hold together beautifully when I crack into the pan but are softer and hard to manipulate with our spatula. Any tips would be much appreciated.
Because you list a variety of egg frying styles it's difficult to reach a conclusion that would apply universally to each style. You may be cooking them on higher heat than you need, using too small a spatula, trying to "drop" rather than turn (it's often helpful to use the edge of the pan to slide the turned egg back into the butter, etc) but I can't be sure of any of that.
Perhaps taking a look at this site:
will give you some useful pointers.
Like opera girl, I prefer to use the jerk/toss method for turning eggs, but that take a little practice before the technique produces a successfully fried egg every time. I remember breaking a lot of yolks learning jerk/toss ... and a few "folded" fried eggs as well.
You may also want to evaluate what you're feeding the bird. If you haven't tried feeding corn and grain (a few leaf veggies are good too) you may find that adding those things to their feed will produce a tighter egg. Of course, if the chicken is moulting, that alone could be the cause of lose yolk and whites.
The USDA says you have to keep them in the fridge. The USDA seems unaware that this is one of the few countries on earth where eggs are sold from refrigerated cases, or else they think everyone else is out of step. An uncracked egg cradles its contents in a sealed, aseptic environment, subject only to losing moisture by the slow migration of H2O molecules through the shell...which means that after a few days of sitting out the egg has shrunk a bit, and will therefore be easier to peel when boiled.
An unrefrigerated egg is also more amenable to cooking anyway, by whatever method; a cold egg fried sunnyside up will still be raw in the middle when its edges are overcooked. Start with room-temperature eggs broken into a bowl, heat the pan, add fat of choice, and after a decent interval slide the eggs into the pan. Season, adjust the heat to pretty low (I use an iron flame-tamer plate on my gas cooktop) and put the lid on. Having a glass lid helps a lot, by the way. The eggs should cook very slowly, steadily but without any bubbling. If you do it right you can have jelly-like yolks if you want (I do) and the whites will still not be rubbery.