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Chicken of the woods recipe

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Chicken of the woods recipe is one of my best recipes, when it talks about wild mushrooms. Search, find, cook – enjoy these delicious chicken of the woods mushrooms to get the best wild flavor you ever have!

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Sautéed Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms

Have some fresh, young and vibrant chicken of the woods mushrooms, and don’t know how to cook them to enjoy their wild flavors that taste just like chicken.. 

Well I’m here with some simple, easy and delicious chicken of the woods recipes – that are absolutely vegan-friendly, ready in under 30 minutes and as delicious as you enjoy your favorite fried chicken!!

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Chicken of the woods mushrooms

What is chicken of the woods?

Chicken of the woods, also known as Laetiporus, or sulfur shelf due  to its vibrant yellow-orange color. The mushroom is a wild, edible fungus that grows on trees such as chestnut, oak or eucalyptus. 

It is usually found in North America, Europe, and Asia, and it gets its name chicken of the woods from its unique flavor like chicken or seafood. Its chicken meat-like texture surprises everyone.

chicken of the woods recipe - chicken of the woods mushrooms recipe
Fresh chicken of the woods

Note: When harvesting chicken of the woods mushroom, keep in mind that only younger and softer parts of chicken of the woods are consumable, and you must not use the older and tougher parts, as they can become woody, dry and tasteless.


Is chicken of the woods safe to eat?

Chicken of the woods mushroom is generally considered safe to eat, if you’re choosing the right one that is fresh and young, it still can have food reactions to some people, who have mushroom allergies, or not handled the mushroom in the right way.

You can experience digestive discomfort after consuming chicken of the woods mushroom. This can include bloating, diarrhea, gas or upset stomach


How to Minimize the risk?

To minimize the risk of such discomforts, I highly recommend cooking the chicken of the woods thoroughly. It will help to break down the cell walls of mushrooms, making it easier to digest. For this, I recommend to cook the chicken of the woods mushrooms for at least 10 minutes, to get them soft, tender and easy to digest.

You can also consume a small amount first to check your body’s reaction. If you feel everything is OK, you can consume it more. 

Note: If you have known allergies to mushrooms or fungi, it is best to avoid chicken of the woods completely.


Is Chicken of the Woods Poisonous?

Usually the chicken of the woods mushroom is not poisonous if you found them on deciduous trees like on an old oak tree or on a sweet chestnut tree. But sometimes, it grows on Yew trees, which makes them toxic. So to get the best chicken of the woods mushroom, stick to that mushroom found on sweet chestnut, or on oak trees. 

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Chicken of the woods mushroom on oak tree

Note: It is important to note that while chicken of the woods is considered safe to eat, if you’re new to this  mushroom, you must confirm your finding to an expert forager before using it. 


Where to find these wild mushrooms

Chicken of the woods mushroom is completely wild mushroom, you can not grow this mushroom in your kitchen garden. It is a woodland mushroom, so find this mushroom in your nearby woodland on oak or sweet chestnut trees in late summer to early spring season, or it can also be found on wild cherry and yew trees. You can find this mushroom easily after one or two fall rains. 

Note: If you find chicken of the woods mushroom on yew, you cannot eat them at all.


Which part of mushroom is best

When harvesting chicken of the woods. Be sure to take only the youngest specimens, which are more  tender and softer. Mature ones will be crumbly, hard to digest and not edible. 

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Fresh chicken of the woods mushroom

How long does chicken of the woods keep?

After harvesting, chicken of the woods can stay fresh for one week. Store them in a paper bag or breathable container, avoid using plastic bag.

Place them in the refrigerator. Be sure to keep them dry and to check them oftenly to be aware of any signs of spoilage


Chicken of the Woods Look Alike

There are some other mushrooms that are similar to chicken of the woods mushrooms, and this similarity can confuse you. It’s important to beware of such similar mushroom types to avoid any confusion or potential risk.

Especially if you’re a new forager, be sure to consult some experienced forager or mycologist to ensure that you’re getting the right edible mushrooms safely. Here are a few examples:

False Turkey Tail (Stereum ostrea): 

This mushroom grows on woods just  like chicken of the woods, with a similar shelf-like appearance but it lacks the same vibrant colors. It usually has a flatter and smoother surface.

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False Turkey Tail – Flicker

Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa): 

Also known as Maitake, this mushroom has a similar texture like chicken of the woods, but it also lacks the yellowish orange color like chicken of the woods mushrooms, rather it has a gray or brown color. Due to its similar texture, it is often used as a substitute for chicken of the woods in many recipes.

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Hen of the woods – Wikimedia commons

Berkeley’s Polypore (Bondarzewia berkeleyi) 

This mushroom has a large, shelf-like fungus with a brownish to reddish-brown cap, often found growing on hardwood trees in North America. It is edible when young, with a mild taste, but can develop a bitter flavor as it matures. It may resemble chicken of the woods at first glance, but it has different texture and color.

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Berkeley’s Polypore – Flicker

Hen of the Woods VS Chicken of the Woods

Most people think that hen of the woods mushrooms and chicken of the woods mushrooms are the same, because of the similarity in their names, but this is not so.

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chicken of the woods mushroom
RecipeZenith
hen of the woods mushroom

Although both of the mushrooms grow on old oak trees, and both are polypores, still both the mushrooms are very different. As we know that the chicken of the woods has a vibrant yellowish orange color, which is lacking in hen of the woods mushrooms. You’ll find hen of the woods mushrooms in gray or brown color. 

So whenever you find gray or brown specimens, they’ll be hen of the woods, instead of chicken of the woods.


What does it taste like??

Why these mushrooms called chicken of the woods mushrooms?? Well, they got their name because many people say they taste like chicken. Really?? Just only because they both are very mild? 

When I first heard about chicken of the woods, I thought it must be a recipe name using chicken, about which I’m unaware. The name was interesting, so I searched for it. Surprisingly, these were mushrooms, named chicken of the woods.

Honestly, I don’t like mushrooms, but I was seriously curious to taste them, and once I tasted them, I become a big fan of them. But I think they taste more like crabs rather than chicken.

However, it is a fact that they are incredibly delicious, and if you’re looking for a best substitute for chicken for a vegan recipe, I think this is the best one. 


How to Clean Chicken of the Woods

Cleaning wild mushrooms is quite an easy and simple process. Firstly remove any bugs, and large dirt particles. Cut off the stem and tough parts of the mushroom and discard them.

chicken of the woods recipe
Cleaning of chicken of the woods mushroom

Wash the mushrooms under cold water, giving it a light scrub with fingers if needed. Dry the mushrooms with a paper towel. Use a sharp knife to slice the mushrooms into thin pieces.


Need Blanching to pre-cook Chicken of the Woods??

If you’re using fresh, younger mushrooms, like these white-pored chicken of the woods. Then they do not need any pre-cooking process.

However, it depends upon the age and species of your chicken of the woods mushroom, if using matured mushrooms, you must blanch them and dry them before cooking.


Easy Chicken of the woods recipe

So, I think now we know almost everything about chicken of the woods, from its harvesting to cleaning and storing. It’s time to cook this chicken of the woods, and let’s surprise your family and friends with its crazy flavor and texture.

sautéed chicken of the woods mushroom
sautéed chicken of the woods mushroom

For a very basic recipe, you just can sauté chicken of the woods in a little oil with minced garlic and chopped onion, which I mostly like to do. However, chicken of the  woods has a great versatility. You can simply fry this, can make your favorite burger, can enjoy a fajita, make a soup using it or even you can make pie using chicken of the woods mushrooms.

Easy Sautéed Chicken of the Woods recipe Ingredients

  • chicken of the woods mushroom – 5 oz.
  • Small shallot – 1 (2 oz.)
  • Large garlic clove – 1
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Cooking oil – 1 tablespoon
  • butter – 1 tablespoon
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped thyme – 1/2 teaspoon (small handful of thyme springs)

How to Make Sautéed Chicken of the Woods Recipe

Now, if you’ve gathered these simple ingredients, and are ready to sauté some chicken of the woods quickly to enjoy as snacks or side dish. Let’s start the cooking process:

Start by trimming and cutting the mushroom into small pieces. Heat a pan over low heat, and place all pieces of mushroom in pan one by one. Add some water, and bring the mushrooms to simmer over medium to high flame until the liquid reduces. Don’t forget to turn their sides for even cooking.

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Cooking chicken of the woods mushroom

when the water begin to dry, add some oil to the mushroom pieces, and cook them for a minute. Now push the mushroom slices to a side of pan, and add chopped garlic clove with a tablespoon of butter, and cook until it turns light golden and aromatic.

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quick chicken of the woods mushroom recipe

Add the chopped shallot and fresh chopped thyme. You can also add fresh thyme springs and cook it for 5 to 7 minutes.

easy chicken of the woods recipe
easy chicken of the woods recipe

Season the sautéed mushrooms with salt and freshly ground pepper, and don’t forget to double check the seasonings to make it according to your taste preferences.

your sautéed chicken of the woods mushroom is ready to serve and enjoy. You can enjoy it as side dish with Bill Miller’s Signature Green Beans for a vegan dinner, or with Golden Corral Pot Roast if you like..


Pro Tips for the recipe

Here are some important tips, I’d like to share, if you’re new to chicken of the woods mushrooms.

Always harvest chicken of the woods mushrooms from identified deciduous trees like oak or sweet chestnut trees, don’t harvest and use chicken of the woods mushrooms from yew trees.

You must take guidance from an expert forager, if you’re a newbie.

Be sure to harvest fresh, younger chicken of the woods mushrooms with vibrant yellow to orange colored.

Its best to blanch the mushrooms before using.

If you’re using chicken of the woods mushrooms for the first time, start with a small quantity, and if your body accept it without any side affects you can consume more.

Be sure to cook chicken of the mushrooms thoroughly. They must be cooked for at least 10 minutes.


Chicken of the woods recipe Nutrition Facts

So, the recipe of sautéed chicken of the woods goes best for 2 to 3 servings depending upon the serving size.

Here are the nutritional facts of chicken of the woods recipe (per serving):

  • Calories: 86kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 4g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Trans Fat: 0.03g
  • Sodium: 17mg
  • Potassium: 297mg
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 0.4g
  • Calcium: 34mg
  • Iron: 9mg

How Long to Cook Chicken of the Woods??

As you know, this is a wild mushroom. It can create serious digestive problems if you use it raw, or don’t cook it properly.

It is recommended to cook the mushrooms for at least 10 minutes to avoid any side effects of chicken of the woods mushrooms.


Recipe Variations

You can substitute chicken of the woods mushrooms with any of your favorite type of mushroom

For garlic clove, you can replace it with garlic powder

Replace shallot with white or yellow onion


MORE WAYS TO ENJOY THESE MUSHROOMS

Chicken of the woods has a great versatility. Just think it as replacement of chicken and you can make anything, that you could enjoy with chicken.

Not only you can fry it to enjoy the mushrooms quickly, but you can also make some other of your favorite recipes, like soups, burgers, pasta or make pie with it.

For example, You can make chicken of the woods soup by adding onion, garlic, ginger, chicken broth, chicken of the woods mushrooms, and milk or cream to add creamy texture. Just make the soup as you make simple soup using chicken, just replace it with chicken of the woods.


Chicken of the woods recipe

Recipe by Zanib MughalCourse: Sides, SnacksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

300

kcal

Ingredients

  • chicken of the woods mushroom – 5 oz.

  • Small shallot – 1 (2 oz.)

  • Large garlic clove – 1

  • Water – 1/4 cup

  • Cooking oil – 1 tablespoon

  • butter – 1 tablespoon

  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

  • Fresh chopped thyme – 1/2 teaspoon (small handful of thyme springs)

Directions

  • Trim and cut the mushroom into small pieces. t
  • Heat the pan and simmer chicken of the woods mushroom pieces in some water. t
  • Turn the sides of mushrooms and cook until the water dries and mushrooms get tender. tt
  • Add some oil and cook the mushroom pieces for a minute. tPush the mushroom pieces to a side of pan, and add chopped garlic clove with butter, and cook until the garlic turns its color to light golden and aromatic. t
  • Add the chopped shallot and fresh chopped thyme.t
  • Cook for 5 to 7 minutes.tt
  • Season the sauteed mushrooms with salt and freshly ground pepper.tt
  • your sautéed chicken of the woods mushroom is ready to serve and enjoy. t
  • You can enjoy it as a side dish with Bill Miller’s Signature Green Beans for a vegan dinner, or with Golden Corral Pot Roast if you like.

Your Queries Got Answer!!

What’s the best way to eat chicken of the woods?

You can sauté or grill chicken of the woods with butter and garlic and enjoy it as delicious and healthy side with dinner.

Do you soak chicken of the woods?

Some people prefer to soak the cleaned and sliced pieces of chicken of the woods mushroom in cold water for 20 to 30 minutes to remove bitterness. However, the process is completely optional. You can simply clean and cook it as you desire.

What can chicken of the woods be used for?

As you know, it taste just like chicken, so you can use it as meat substitute in various vegetarian dishes or simply cook it as a tasty mushroom.

Can you eat the whole chicken of the woods?

Be sure to harvest it when young and tender for better taste and texture. After harvesting remove its tough parts (if) and then you can use it according to your recipe.

When should you avoid chicken of the woods?

Avoid chicken of the woods mushrooms if they’ve grown on toxic woods like yew woods or in polluted areas, as they can absorb harmful substances. You must confirm your finding to an expert forager, if you’re new to find chicken of the woods mushroom to avoid any mishaps.

How do you get the bugs out of chicken of the woods?

To remove bugs from Chicken of the Woods, carefully inspect and clean the mushrooms, removing any infected or damaged parts.

To sum up

So if you’ve enjoyed the recipes shared and the information is valuable for you, please share it with your friends who’re also foodie just like us..

If you’ve any query about the recipe, ask me in comments. Don’t forget to like me on Facebook and follow me on Pinterest too. You can also be a member of recipezenith’s foodie family by subscribing now.

2 thoughts on “Chicken of the woods recipe”

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