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Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms
Inventory, lb : 0
This item was last sold on : 09/02/17
Chicken of the Woods mushrooms have a bright orange-yellow to deep salmon-colored cap that is irregularly-shaped, somewhat like a fan and can grow up to 2 feet in width. The color can fade with age or if the mushroom grows in direct sunlight. The cap is smooth, slightly grooved, with a suede-like feel and a rounded edge. Instead off gills, the underside is composed of whitish or sulfur-colored, tightly packed pores from which spores can be released. Chicken of the Woods mushrooms have no apparent stem, and can grow in large clusters. With a characteristic, rather potent aroma this mushroom is best enjoyed when it is young and tender; older specimens can be tough to digest. The texture and taste is much like that of cooked chicken, which is how it may have adopted its Chicken of the Woods moniker.
Chicken of the Woods mushrooms are available late summer through the early fall.
Botanically, this brightly colored mushroom is known primarily as Laetiporus sulphureus but there are quite a few varieties that are visually indistinguishable yet are considered biologically distinct, a sibling species. The only way to distinguish one sibling species from another is using ecological factors like growing region and the wood on which it grows. The edible Chicken of the Woods mushrooms are found growing on hardwood trees such as oak or beech. The large orange mushrooms sometimes referred to as sulfur shelf mushrooms or simply Chicken mushrooms.
Chicken of the Woods mushrooms have antifungal, antibiotic and tumor inhibiting properties. It is said that, when taken regularly, Chicken of the Woods mushrooms can be helpful in maintaining good health and defending the body against illness.
Chicken of the Woods mushrooms can be versatile in the kitchen. Be sure to cook thoroughly, as thicker portions of the mushroom will take longer to cook than the thinner edges. Cut into bite sized pieces or strips and sauté with wine and herbs. Bake or deep fry Chicken of the Woods mushrooms and serve with a dipping sauce. Add diced Chicken of the Woods mushrooms to soups or stews. Marinate before grilling, and if the mushroom appears to be dry, use a recipe that calls for added liquid, stock or wine. Chicken of the Woods mushrooms are ideal for fresh freezing; once cooked, freeze cut mushrooms in a container. When ready to use, do not thaw. Chicken of the Woods mushrooms are best stored cooked and frozen and do not keep for long otherwise.
Chicken of the Woods is considered a delicacy in Germany and the United States. In parts of Europe, the mushroom is dried, powdered and added to flour to make bread. In Russia, Chicken of the Woods mushrooms have a long fabled use as a natural antibiotic. Traditionally, the mushroom has been dried and powdered to use as a snuff.
Chicken of the Woods, L. sulphureus and its sibling species L. gilbertsonii are primarily found growing in the hardwood forests of the Eastern United States, east of the Rocky Mountains, though they can grow anywhere in the United States. Laetiporus sulphureus is a heart rot fungus, meaning that it grows higher up on the trunk of its hardwood host. This characteristic helps differentiate the edible members of this species from the inedible. Mushrooms growing on the ground tend to be from an inedible sibling species. Use caution when trying to identify wild mushrooms; unless there is a 100% certainty of a mushroom’s identification, do not eat or touch it.
Recipes that include Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms. One is easiest, three is harder.
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