The Next Chapter

Signe Langford on the joys of backyard hens and fresh eggs

Toronto chef Signe Langford's new book offers tips on raising urban chickens, plus 100 recipes celebrating the versatile egg.
Signe Langford shares her favourite egg recipes with Shelagh Rogers on The Next Chapter.

Urban hens are "pets with benefits" according to Toronto writer and chef Signe Langford. In her new book, Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs, Langford offers tips on raising happy chickens, plus 100 ways to cook the delicious, fresh eggs they produce.

Here are some highlights from her interview with The Next Chapter host Shelagh Rogers.


It's about that connection to our food. It's about that connection to our land. If you don't have animals in your life, I do believe you are missing out on something. Urban hens are pretty well pets with benefits. They're spoiled rotten and they live somewhere between Fluffy the kitten inside the house and livestock. You have a bit of a different relationship with them, but you love them.


If you're eating an egg that you literally just took out of a nest box, you don't need anything but a tiny pinch of salt and a nice dollop of butter. The French rule is a tablespoon of butter for each egg eaten. You've got to do it that way. You don't need anything else because that egg is a taste experience. A real egg has a flavour that you aren't going to find in a grocery store egg, not even an organic grocery store egg. A fresh egg with a little butter and salt from a happy, healthy hen is perfect. But something that was a revelation for me was the sweet omelette. I never thought to treat an omelette as a dessert course. Putting jam and cheese (like cream, or mascarpone or ricotta) in a fluffy omelette — that has to be my favourite recipe.

Signe Langford's comments have been edited and condensed.