Chicken of the Woods

This is Chicken of the Woods formally called Bracket Fungi.

This is a new treat we were introduced to this spring and I can honestly say I had my doubts that I would try it in my kitchen. Chicken of the woods is found on living and dead oaks. These mushrooms do not appear until well after the fungus has attacked the tree and it typically grows in large clusters in the summer and fall. It is considered an annual favorite by a lot of hunters in our area and they talk about how delicious it is and compare it to morels which we love. Most that eat it regularly compared it to “the best fried chicken they’ve ever eaten”.

My husband brought some home back in July and asked me to fix it for him after he had started cleaning it in my nice, clean kitchen sink!!!

It was full of dead bark/dust, bugs and creepy stuff!!!

I told him I would but first I needed to talk to the “expert” on Chicken of the Woods and find out HOW to prepare such a thing and here’s the recipe:

First clean several times rinsing well after each cleaning and then slice in thin pieces.

Sliced fairly thin (1/4″) and another cleaning before soaking in salt water.

Let sit in ice water for a couple hours and rinse again. Apparently there’s a film over the fungi that will numb and/or tingle your lips and mouth if not removed by soaking.

Next you flour the slices/pieces in seasoned flour and let sit in the flour so it will adhere to the pieces before frying in hot butter. Turn several times and let each piece cook at least 5-10 minutes on each side and golden brown. Serve with anything you would normally eat with fried chicken.

Hubby tried it first and to my surprise he said it was delicious and tasted exactly like fried chicken!! For this meal, I did try one small piece and it truly was very good!!! We have a new menu item for our meals! I fixed it a couple more times that month and it will be on our table again. More importantly, it’s another good reason to go walking in the woods!!

I want to thank our good buddy and outdoorsman, Vince Caldwell, for his help in recommending the dish and for talking me through the preparation of this really good dish!!

Just for background info this is the site I looked up before cooking and eating this fungi: The excerpt below is from that link.

This mushroom is said to have a lemony, meaty taste. Some think it tastes like its chicken namesake; others describe the flavour as being more like crab or lobster-like. The margins of chicken of the woods is the desirable part to consume because the inner area tends to get a bit corky or in some cases woody and requires boiling in water for about an hour. Its look-a-like, Laetiporus cincinatus (pores are white and it grows from wood in the ground), is totally palatable. It’s important to note that this is one of those mushrooms that sometimes can cause gastric distress in certain people. If you want to avoid a possible stomach ache, only try a little bit your first time to see what it does to you. Be sure to cook before eating!

I like trying new foods and this was a really good meal!!! This is hubby being very diligent about the cleaning.

Author: countrygirllifeonthefarm

I am a wife, mother, and grandmother that lives on a farm in Craig County, Virginia and I am retired. I love to cook, read, quilt, craft, garden, hunt and take long walks in the woods. I have one gorgeous teen granddaughter, a wonderful little grandson and two beautiful and caring children, boy & girl. I've been married to my farmer husband for 46 years and he's the "love of my life"!! I love doing things the "old" way such as canning, making maple syrup & cider, handcrafts and baking. I've taught myself to crochet, embroider, and quilt with help from my paternal grandmother. I could read until the cows come home. We live off the products we raise and hunt for the most part. We run 75 head of cattle on our farm, 30 chickens, three rabbits and one dog. I help my husband with the cattle, feeding the livestock, hauling in firewood, fence repair, and general maintenance on the farm. I was a stay-at-home mom to my children and then went to work when they finished high school. I was a cook at a School for At-Risk Teens and part-time substitute teacher. Then I started work at our local Farm Bureau and stayed there for 17 years. I worked at Virginia Tech for almost five years and decided to take early retirement in July of 2015. NOW, I'm a full-time farmwife and loving every minute of it! I love to read fiction and the Bible. I'm currently hooked on quilting novels and Annie's Attic mysteries. I started this blog in 2011 and have met so many interesting bloggers and have kept up with my friends through my blog. I love to hunt with my bow and rifle and with a camera. We hunt to fill the freezer and cellar but would never kill anything for the fun of it. I have friends and family all over the United States. Some of my ancestry last names are Bradley, Dickson, Hylton, and Rose. I've lost both of my parents to brain cancer and miss them very much. I have one sister and four living brothers. I was raised in Paint Bank VA and moved to New Castle VA when I married. I went to school in Waiteville, WV, Gap Mills, WV and New Castle Va with a short semester of college at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke VA.

3 thoughts on “Chicken of the Woods”

  1. Fascinating as we have some similar to theses but never thought they were edible or if so would taste good. It’s mushroom time here now and means we can get lots of wandering visitors!


  2. I was supposed to go on a Chicken of the Woods hunt August 31st, but had to cancel. What does it taste like. Is it hard to find? Need to talk after my RI trip anyway. Let’s go to Green Valley Book Fair and the Cheese Shoppe!!!


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