Let’s call this little guy our inspiration! Colonial Williamsburg hatches Dominique and Nankin Bantam chickens. As part of our Rare Breeds Program, both are likely to have been a part of 18th-century life in Williamsburg. Nankin Bantams are the latest addition to the program and you can find them in chicken coops and runs in and around the Historic Area. The Dominique is one of the first livestock breeds developed in America. By 1900, it came dangerously close to extinction and today is still labeled as “critically endangered” by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. We are proud that our program is part of the mission to save them.
Now that you have a little history under your belt, let’s move on to how you can create your own Rare Breeds chicks for this weekend’s Easter festivities.
This idea first came to me a couple years ago when my mom and I tried the above deviled egg chicks. They were a huge hit! That time we used cut up pickles for the eyes and added a sprig of dill as their tuft of feathers. While they were cute, I just knew there had to be a way to make their colonial cousins. So, we rallied the troops and spent a couple of hours in the kitchen getting creative and having fun.
As far as the deviled eggs part is concerned—I don’t have any particular recipe to share. I’ve made so many different concoctions over the years that it’s hard to choose a favorite. I’ll admit that I tend to come back to the basic egg yolk, mayo, and yellow mustard mixture (with sea salt and black pepper) and a little bit of olive juice. The beauty of this project is you can use your favorite recipe! Keep in mind, you will need the yolk of two eggs to create each chick. So, if you want to make six; you should plan to boil a dozen.
To create our 18th-century chicks, you’ll also need carrots for the beaks and feet, peppercorns for the eyes, and kale for the battlefield. Then, think about how you want to “dress” and stage them. The more creative, the better! Here are some loose instructions to get your project started:
1. After you boil your eggs, cut a small portion off the bottom of the chicks so they can eventually sit on their carrot feet without tumbling over.
2. Then, carefully cut off the top (about a 1/3 of the way down). Be sure to keep track of which top goes with which chick!
3. Carefully scoop out the yolk to use in your deviled egg recipe. The tricky part is trying not to break the white part as you remove it. I succeeded by using a tiny 1/4 teaspoon. A small melon scooper may have worked even better.
4. Mix up your egg mixture to your liking. I used my Pampered Chef Accent Decorator to squeeze the filling into the shell but a pastry bag would work too!
5. For the beaks, cut two tiny triangles in your carrots. You will also use your carrots to cut the feet—which can be as small or as big as you like! You’ll notice this year, we made them big enough for the eggs to sit on top of them but in the older picture, you can see we cut them smaller and actually pushed them into the base of the egg.
6. Finally…. ACCESSORIZE! The team’s DIY expert Ali made our cute little tri-corner hats using card stock and a black Sharpie. Brian loaned us the cannon to set in the kale, and the rest… is history!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Don’t stress if your project doesn’t turn out exactly how you envisioned it. Embrace it like you would any Pinterest fail, and snap a picture. Remember, the important part is to have fun! Just look what happened after our “photoshoot” wrapped for the night. We sent our militia marching on to the “Battle of Yolktown!”