The first time I had ‘chicken bottarga’, as Chef Stuart Brioza calls it, was at State Bird Provisions. It was this bright yellow, fluffy dusting of salty richness added to my favorite dish there, the yuba noodles. In a recent dish from Chef, the ‘chicken bottarga’, aka cured egg yolks was generously shaved over a lamb tartare at sister restaurant, The Progress.
So just how does one make cured egg yolks? Chef guided me on how to make them – cure, rinse, dry, smoke (optional). So essentially, luscious eggs + salt + time, and that’s it. The first step is curing the yolks in salt. Using any shallow dish, create a bed of kosher salt and try to press down little nooks for them. Then very carefully plant the egg yolks. The egg whites should be reserved for another use (pasta, macarons, soufflés, cocktails). It’s good to keep them far enough apart so they don’t accidentally end up touching each other, which could lead to some breakage.
Then, gently pour over more kosher salt to coat them. Plastic wrap over the dish and let them hibernate in the fridge to cure. Take a peek every few days to see how it’s coming along and to see if the salt needs to be shifted or more added. In about a week, we’ll be able to move on to step 2.