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Chicken of the Woods & Mushroom Karma

Mushroom karma time.

This year, we became obsessed with the chickeny deliciousness of the

Laetiporus sulphureus – Chicken of the Woods – after we purchased some at a nearby farm stand (for $27/pound!).  They taste so much like chicken that they make vegetarians feel a little odd – like somehow they are cheats for enjoying them.

 So, this being a good (great) mushroom year, we set out for a quick walk in the local woods right near where we live.
After a beautiful walk, but few mushrooms, we headed back.  Then, incredibly, there they were, calling us.  Between five and ten pounds of these beauties!  An old log with a huge haul of “pollo” 🙂

Now we are by no means mushroom experts, and usually shy away from fungi we aren’t certain about, but these shrooms

(really polypores as they have pores not gills), among David Aurora’s “foolproof four,” are really distinctive.

So much for the out-to-dinner plans.  It looks like we’ll be having some chicken (of the woods)!  Yummy.

Recipe:

Ingredients:

Chicken of the Woods, Laetiporus sulphureus
Garlic
Olive Oil
Salt, Pepper

How to Make It:

Trim fresh Chicken of the Woods, discarding any tough parts that are no longer “juicy.”  Tear strips along grain (or cut if you prefer).  In a shallow pan, heat olive oil along with plenty of chopped garlic (amount depends on preference – one tsp ++ is great).  Add mushroom strips and lightly saute 1-2 min, lower heat.  Cover to keep juicy and cook another few minutes until tender but still juicy.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.   Enjoy as is or use in recipes, especially any dish that uses cooked chicken (risotto, sandwiches, soups, etc.).  Freezes well too.

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