Chicken of the Woods.

And suddenly…. A wild chicken appeared!
Or… Laetiporus sulphureus, but who wants to say that?

I’ve always liked the thought of foraging for my eats, but because of being busy and my 1,000,000 other interests, I haven’t taken a lot of time to actually do it.

However, after a jaunt by the river with my sister last week, I might be spending more time satisfying my diet out in the woods.

Chicken of the woods is pretty hard to miss. From what I’ve read, there aren’t any other mushrooms that try to act like it, so if you find something that looks like this, it’s unmistakably a chicken:

chicken.jpg

This particular chicken might be a little too thick for most types of cooking. The one I harvested had much thinner shelves, but I like this picture. 🙂

I found several clumps of it on this dead and broken down tree. I knew the spot, so I brought a knife with me and tried to cut off mostly just the outer, softer edges of the mushroom. This allows it to keep growing. Plus, this is the easiest part to eat.

I did a lot of research when I got home as there are several ways to clean and cook the chicken of the woods, but I did what I felt most comfortable with.

First, I broke it apart and soaked it in cold water with at least a few tablespoons of salt in my sink. I did this for about 10 minutes:

1.jpg

Then, I separated the softer parts of the mushroom from the tougher parts and rinsed and drained them separately, removing any excess dirt:

2.jpg

Then, I cut down the softer pieces of chicken to close to bite size pieces that I thought would cook easily:

3.jpg

And finally, I laid all of the pieces out on paper towels to sit for awhile and remove some of the excess water. To cook the chicken, I fried it lightly in canola oil with onions, fresh garlic, and lemon pepper for about 4-5 minutes until a slight golden brown.

De-freakin-licious.

5.jpg

I don’t claim to be an expert on this subject. In fact, I’m entirely new to it. I plan on eating all of this first batch in the next few days, and I hope to make a broth out of the tougher pieces of the mushroom.

If anyone would like to share more recipes or good ways to store the chicken for long periods of time, I would greatly appreciate it.
In the meantime, happy foraging. 🙂

 

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