Egg-to-Fork: Placer County Chickens

Here in Sacramento we are lucky to be surrounded by farmland. Each area has its own charm, be it the flat geometric plots to the south and west, or the rolling oak-dotted hills of the north and east.

Free-range chickens have a big coop and dirt area, but also have the run of the place

Free-range chickens have a big coop and dirt area, but also have the run of the place

Yesterday I visited Long Dream Farm, a gorgeous 370 acre farm in the Placer County countryside near Lincoln.

Among the oaks, they raise cattle, along with emu, goats, alpacas, donkeys, pigs, and various fowl including beautiful chickens who make delicious eggs.  Some of the chicken breeds they are raising include Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red, Cuckoo Maran, and Astralorp. Cuckoo Marans come from France and I got one of those eggs in the two dozen I took home: it was very large, with a rich reddish brown shell and a dark orange yolk color reminiscent of the french eggs I’ve eaten and marveled about. After spending time in Europe, and shopping at the farmer’s markets there, egg lovers will wonder why most egg yolks here don’t have that same dark orange color and corresponding rich flavor.

LongDreamFarmEggs2

Real eggs are delicious

The eggs from Long Dream Farm do! This is no doubt due to their truly free range lifestyle, pecking at insects and foraging in the pastures all day long. I saw for myself that they really do have the run of the place, some stayed close to the coops and some roamed off into the cow pasture. Friends who were staying on the farm (Long Dream rents a house on the property via AirBnB) brought us a dozen eggs, which were fried and scrambled and thoroughly enjoyed. Scrambled eggs,  á la Richard Olney, were such a vibrant yellow orange they looked like they’d been spiked with turmeric! Once I visited the farm myself, I felt lucky to get my hands on another dozen. The owners recently acquired their egg handler license and are planning to start selling their eggs at the farmer’s market or direct-to-restaurants or both in the near future. Keep your eyes peeled!

A logo to look for at markets and on menus

A logo to look for at markets and on menus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Michele
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