Eat Good Food

Join Our Chicken CSA!

chicken csa

Raised among the riches of a West County Gravenstein apple orchard, the chickens we offer to our Chicken CSA members are the same ones that we serve here at SHED. If you’ve tried a chicken dish in our Café, you know the spectacular chicken-i-ness of their flavor and the richness of the meat. You may not know that they can only be purchased via this CSA.

Produced by Parade Farming Co., the hens are Poulet Rouge/Freedom Ranger chickens. Freedom Ranger birds were derived from an American and European heritage breed in the 1960s to meet the high standards of the French Label Rouge program.

In keeping with Parade’s old-school farming practices, their chickens are moved around the property in sync with the natural cycles of the season, integrated with the rhythms of the farm’s heritage hogs and sheep.

Parade harvests their hens in small batches every week, and personally delivers fresh birds that are never frozen or shrink-wrapped in plastic.

The Chicken Club is a month-to-month membership that entitles members to four birds a month. The chickens weigh approximately six pounds and come with head and feet attached (unless you’d like us to remove them for you). They cost $36 each, totaling $144 for the month. You’re encouraged to split the CSA share with friends, family, and neighbors! Pick-up is each Saturday after 12pm noon.

Do something delicious for yourself and your family. Join the Chicken CSA today!

Hungry? Learn how simple it it so to cook the roast the perfect bird.

Eat Good Food

Roast Chicken Recipe: Digoin Terracotta

When you are cooking something as simple as roast chicken, opting for a traditional method is often best. Such is the case with this roast chicken in Digoin terracotta roaster.

Ideal for roasting chicken, the traditional unglazed terracotta roaster utilizes one of the oldest known methods of cooking, dating back to Roman times. The high-domed lid allows air to circulate while keeping heat and steam in, resulting in a very moist, flavorful dish.

We love to use Digoin’s unglazed terracotta roasters. They take on the flavor of your kitchen over the years and reliably result in an excellent meal. They are an heirloom in the making.

For this recipe select a pastured bird that lived a regular chicken’s life, pecking and roaming around. You’ll be astounded by the difference in flavor — and this method really highlights it.

Note: Before using your Digoin terracotta roaster you must soak both parts of the cooking vessel in cold water for at least 10 minutes prior to use. Also, the roaster must always be placed in a cold, not pre-heated, oven.

Roast Chicken

1 large free-range chicken, about 4 pounds
Sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 large head garlic
1 organic lemon, cut into quarters
4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
2-4 fresh sprigs rosemary
SHED Green Salt to finish, plus more fresh herbs for garnish

To prepare the chicken, season the bird 1 to 2 days before cooking.

First rinse the chicken and pat very dry. Using about 3/4 teaspoon sea salt per pound of chicken, season the chicken liberally all over with salt and the pepper, including inside the cavity. Twist and tuck the wing tips behind the shoulders. Cover loosely and refrigerate.

When you’re ready to cook the chicken, wipe the chicken dry and set it breast side up in the terra cotta roaster.

Peel the outer layers of the garlic to separate the individual cloves, but don’t peel the cloves themselves. Arrange the garlic, lemon, and herbs around the chicken.

Put the lid of the roaster on and slip the pot in a cold (not preheated) oven. Set the oven to  425°F.

Bake the chicken for about 1 ½ hours, or until cooked through, basting the chicken with its own juices every 30-45 minutes or so. If you have a meat thermometer, insert it in the inner part of a thigh. The chicken is done when the thermometer registers 180°F.

If the skin of the chicken is still rather pale, remove the lid, and put the pot back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until it turns brown.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 10-15 minutes. Carve the different serving parts, and transfer to a warm serving dish. Finish with SHED Green Salt and garnish with fresh herbs.

Transfer the juices, herbs, and cloves to a gravy boat and serve immediately to pour over chicken and perhaps a side of mashed potatoes.

Note: To warm your serving dish, fill it with hot water from the kettle previous to plating. Drain off and wipe dry.

Eat Good Food

Which Egg Should You Use?

In the spring, our Larder is always stocked with a quantity of quail, duck, and hen eggs that are ready for use at Easter and beyond. But which egg do you need today? Choosing among quail, duck, and hen eggs presents a variety of options.

Here is our guide to help you choose between these eggs of different shapes, sizes, and colors.

Hen Eggs
Commercial egg production in the U.S. has its roots here in Sonoma County. Known as the town of Butter and Eggs, Petaluma hosted the country’s first egg ranch in 1918, and by 1929 had the country’s largest hatchery.

In our Healdsburg store, the pasture-raised hen eggs come from our own HomeFarm as well as Noci Sonoma, our neighbors just down the road.

Hens naturally lay fewer eggs in the winter when days are short, and production begins to steadily increase as the days lengthen.

A hen does not need a rooster to lay eggs, and releases one at a time after reaching fix or six months of age. Typically, a hen can lay an egg in about 24 hours, and has the potential to produce regularly for a few years, if not longer.

Hen eggs contain all the B vitamins, including choline, needed to support nervous system function.

From whole to separated, from cooked in the shell to fried or raw, the possibilities for cooking with hen eggs are endless. We love them poached and served on polenta with wild mushrooms or slid atop levian toast with greens. We love them gently scrambled with fresh butter and herbs. We love them every way!

Quail Eggs
Our Coturnix quail eggs are sourced from Alchemist Farm and Garden.

Quails begin to produce eggs at eight weeks of age. Their eggs are much smaller than the average hen egg, weighing about 9 grams (as opposed to hen eggs, which weigh about 50 grams each.) The shell is gray with brown spots, and the egg overall is about the size of a grape tomato.

With a larger yolk-to-white ratio than hen eggs, the membrane located between the shell and the quail egg is also thicker, and sometimes difficult to crack. To open, push the tip of a sharp paring knife into the shell about one-third of the way down, cut back and forth gently, and pull of the top of the shell.

It’s not unusual to see quail eggs served raw in sushi bars, and they also make for great pickled eggs. Conveniently, they take just three minutes to hard-boil and two minutes to soft-boil. Consider serving quail eggs atop pizza!

Duck Eggs
Our duck eggs are sourced from Washoe Duck Farm just south of us. Washoe’s ducks are pasture-raised on 10 acres using rotational grazing with mobile fencing. These happy birds forage a good portion of their diet.

Duck eggs are around 50 percent larger and more nutrient-dense than hen eggs, with more protein, omega-3s, and B-12 vitamins packed into each one. Duck eggs have rich, thick yolks with three times the cholesterol of chicken eggs.

The richness of duck eggs makes them well-suited to balance the freshness of spring peas and beans in a frittata. Substituting duck eggs for hen eggs in meringues and cakes can help create an airier structure. In Asia, duck eggs are often salted and preserved.

Confused about free-range vs. cage-free eggs? Here’s our glossary of the different terms. (Pssst: look for ‘pastured.’)

Eat Good Food

Recipe: Chicken Tagine

Spiced with Ras el Hanout, a North African medley of many spices, and sweetened with apricots, this chicken tagine is a warm and exotic one-pot meal.

Tagines — the slow-cooked, savory stews of North Africa — are traditionally made and served in distinctive earthenware pots, often with lamb or chicken, and usually over couscous.

Cooked in a heavy-bottomed dutch oven rather than a tagine, this isn’t a traditional version, but it is deeply aromatic and delicious. Serve with fluffy couscous to absorb the richly flavored sauce.

Chicken Tagine

8 chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, sliced
2 medium fennel bulbs, quartered (save fronds for garnish)
1 tablespoon ras el hanout (**see note below)
Juice and zest of 1 orange
2 cups chicken stock
1 pinch saffron
1⁄3 cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
1⁄2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oil in a six-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add to pot; cook, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate, and set aside.

Heat butter in same pot over medium heat, then add onions and fennel; cook, stirring for 10-15 minutes until soft. Add ras el hanout and cook for 1 minute.

Return chicken to pot along with orange, stock, and saffron. Bring to a boil, reducing heat to medium-low, and simmer, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through and tende, about 30 minutes.

Add apricots and continue simmering, about 5 minutes longer.

Season with more salt as needed, and garnish with cilantro and reserved fennel fronds. Serve over couscous.

**Commonly associated with North African, particularly Moroccan cuisine, Ras El Hanout is a favorite spice mixture for marinades, meats, and stews. Translated to mean “Top of the Shop” due to the high-quality ingredients typically used in this mixture, Ras El Hanout is also a rumored aphrodisiac.