Introducing “Chicken of the Woods”, or COTW, or chicken mushroom, or sulphur shelf. Laetiporus sulphureus. If in doubt, leave it out! Multiple sources from multiple authors should be consulted. The flavor of these is incredible. This mushroom has no gills, instead its bright yellow undersurface is covered with tiny pores. Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) When I was out collecting elderflowers for cordial the other day, I caught a glimpse of bright orange in the bushes. Chicken Of The Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) While Lion’s Mane is one of the easiest mushrooms to identify, its presence is a bit more rare than some of the other choice edibles. The mushroom can be prepared in most ways that one can prepare chicken meat. The chicken of the woods here are breaded by dipping into flour-egg-flour here. It is very similar in taste and texture to chicken and can be used as a substitute for it. Chicken of the Woods - Laetiporus sulphureus Edible mushroom - novice Other common names: Sulphur Shelf, Sulphur Polypore, Crab of the Woods Scientific name meaning: Laetiporus comes from the Latin word Laetus - meaning gay, pleasing or abundant - and porus, meaning pores. Please let us know if you know of any. Chicken of the woods though, is a good place to start as it is easily identifiable, as there is nothing that looks quite like it, and certainly nothing poisonous. Chicken of the woods is an easily identifiable and safe mushroom to start your mushroom seeking adventures.. Chicken of the woods is a sulphur-yellow bracket fungus of trees in woods, parks and gardens. It is edible when young and fresh, and considered a delicacy in Germany and North America. I decided to research foods I can forage in my own neck of the woods, but there are plenty of options wherever you are, too. Of course, your time is worth something, and it probably wouldn’t be worth the effort to scavenge cheap foods like potatoes – but many foods found in the wild cost a pretty pe… Chicken of the woods is one of the safest, widely available mushroom, referred to by David Arora (Mushrooms Demystified) as one of the “foolproof four”. I'd like to know if anyone out there keeps their chickens primarily in a forested area of their property as opposed to a more open, pasture-type setting (I tried searching the site briefly but didn't see anything relevant - feel free to point me to a previous post if you know of one). flesh is white to yellow tinted, firm, softer at the edges. Chicken of the woods is an easily identifiable and safe mushroom to start your mushroom seeking adventures. In order to find these it’s helpful to know how they grow. Chicken of the Woods, where they grow, how to identify, and how I cook them. It can also be used as a substitute for chicken in a vegetarian diet. Older specimens are tough and acidic. In most climates without high humidity, you really only get 3-4 days after the rains to get fresh mushrooms. Dyers maze gill (Phalous Schweinitzii), which surface is a lot more rough, chicken of the woods has a velvet surface and typically grows higher up on oak trees. This brightly colored mushroom can be found growing on dead or mature trees, most often large oak trees. Use as a food Chicken of the Woods has a rich poultry-like flavour and texture. I ended up sautéing them until a crispy skin developed with a little olive oil, lemon pepper, black pepper, salt and Worcestershire sauce. This beautiful and relatively easy mushroom to identify is amazing in a stir fry, baked, breaded and fried, and can be sautéed just as one would prepare chicken. They begin fruiting in the beginning of the summer, and will continue into the fall. This may be one of the factors of why a select few people can get digestive upset eating this mushroom. Hen-of-the-woods, oyster, black trumpet and chicken mushrooms take us deeper into fall, with hen-of-the-woods, also called maitake, some of the fanciest. This means that when you find it, you should look to see that it is orange and fan shaped, has a porus underside, and is growing out of wood directly. Today I’m excited to share a great guest post from a local foraging expert. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Chicken of the Woods Recipe . The pore surface, opposed to gills, is a very important characteristic of the underside of mushrooms. The top surface of Chicken of the Woods is bright orange but, as they age, will dull to yellow or even white, developing a more sour flavor with time. The Yoga of Plants Part 2 – Plant Ritual and Mantra in Ayurveda Webinar, Immune System Health – Herbal and Holistic Tips Webinar, “Working with Ticks and Lyme” Online Class, Spring Cleansing and Herbal Healing Tonics Webinar, “Return to Nature Radio” Podcast (Coming Soon), http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12741318, Colombia – Seeking the Medicine – Winter 2015, Hunting the Medicine Documentary, Foraging Appalachia 2014, India – Seeking the Medicine – Botanical Journey, 2012. The author bears no responsibility for your actions. Using flour, egg and breadcrumbs can make things overly heavy, soggy, and oily. Attempting to eat any of the plants or mushrooms discussed on this site may cause harm. One of the main factors in safely identifying this mushroom against several other bright orange mushrooms is that it grows directly on wood. See Hazards regarding other consumption warnings, Use in herbal medicine Some haemolytic and haemagglutination activity has been seen, If you are suffering from any ailment or need medical advice, please see your General Practitioner. I’ve also heard that chicken of the woods growing on evergreens can be an issue for some peoples digestive systems; although this may be a rumor from mistaking poison hemlock (Conium) for the edible and medicinal hemlock tree (Tsuga sp.) They are available from August- November. Because Chicken of the Woods can grow close to the ground, care should be taken not to harvest in areas where dogs may foul. Forage & Chatter, a restaurant in Edinburgh's West End which opened late last year, brings locally sourced Scottish ingredients, including foraged ones, from a 25-mile radius to diners. Only young, fresh specimens should be used for eating. Gathering your own food offers a wide variety of benefits, including the following: 1. I have been enjoying following Matt’s instagram feed, and love that I can tag him in a picture and ask for his help in identifying a plant or fungus while out foraging.This is a wonderful time of year to get out there and pick, and I enjoyed reading Matt’s top 10 things to forage in autumn. Often on chicken of the woods everything but the fans are very woody and inedible, while this can be used for stock, the real gem is in the soft succulent tips, which break off like the texture of chicken. The Foraging Course Company, The Hall, Rugby Road, Wolston, Warwickshire, CV8 3FZ, Chicken of the Woods - Laetiporus sulphureus, Sulphur Shelf, Sulphur Polypore, Crab of the Woods. Chicken of the Woods mushrooms come in handy for vegetarians because they can be used in place of chicken (or as a general meat substitute). It's a simple and tasty way to enjoy their flavor and texture. There are some specialist beetles which only feed on bracket fungi like chicken of the woods, including the hairy fungus beetle (Pseudotriphyllus suturalis). This fascinating orange-yellow mushroom is one that cannot be cultivated or farmed easily (in fact, it is known to be extremely difficult to accomplish), so we only forage for them. Chicken of the woods mushrooms are easy to identify, impossible to harvest unsustainably, are tasty in any mushroom dish! Chicken of the woods diced up and cooked in a little butter with garlic and Italian parsley. Another name for this fungus is Sulphur Polypore. This easy chicken of the woods recipe was adapted from Italyville.com, an awesome and delicious Italian cooking blog. Chicken of the woods are parasites, decomposing or infecting living trees, eating them from the inside out. Ingredients: 3 cups chicken of the woods mushrooms, cleaned fruiting body is up to 20 cm broad, shelf-like, rubbery, with bands of sulphur yellow and orange older specimens are paler, brittle, chalk-like, and inedible. You need to be 100% sure of your identification, 100% sure that your foraged item is edible, and 100% sure that you are not allergic to it (it is good practice to always try a small amount of any new food you are consuming). It can also be found on dead conifer stumps. After that, mushrooms quickly become bug hotels. Coastal Foraging Scotland It's delightful common name, Chicken-of-the-woods, may derive from the fact that the brackets resemble chickens' feet. Chicken of the woods is found growing on or at the base of dead or dying hardwood trees; most commonly on oak but also cherry or beech. Foraging for food is more than just a fun pastime – though it certainly can be that too. The cap is yellow, pink or orange, often in bands, and usually wavy with. and Return to Nature on Instagram: Instagram/returntonature, Your email address will not be published. It is also eaten by deer. Scottish Natural Heritage has produced a great guide about Scotland’s fungi and the Scottish Wild Mushroom Forum also has a Mushroom Code to advise gatherers on best practice. Mushrooms. If found on Yew, be aware that this mushroom can engulf the poisonous leaves and bark quite readily. The top surface of Chicken of the Woods is bright orange which can be either more reddish or yellowish than you see here. Giant Polypore (Meripilus Giganteus), this fungus is typically found at the base of trees whereas chicken of the woods is found higher up trees, giant polypore also discolours black on contact which chicken of the woods doesn’t. Autumn came a bit early this August and September with very cool nights and comfortable days, stimulating the fruiting of a favorite fall fungi, the hen of the woods, maitake, or Grifola frondosa.Some weekends we are so busy with lectures and walks that we don't have much time to forage for our own pantry, but hen season can get us out in the woods all week long. Go forage! Ethical and sustainable harvesting of all mushrooms is important, and although there is some debate among mycologists, it is generally recommended to remove the tender part of the mushrooms with either a knife, or by hand, and in the case of chicken of the woods, by breaking off the fans, but not necessarily removing the entire base. Its common names are sulphur polypore, sulphur shelf, and chicken of the woods.Its fruit bodies grow as striking golden-yellow shelf-like structures on tree trunks and branches. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The bright orange color is lacking in other similar-shaped shelf mushrooms. Foragemobile Roving Apothecary and School Crowdfunding Project! It is often thick and fleshy. Look for them on downed oak and maple as the bark peels off. I have never even seen this mushroom grow on any evergreens. For those too nervous to forage but curious to taste them, chicken of the woods can be cultivated on old hardwood logs. How to Forage in the Woods for Wild Edible Plants (with Video) Reader Contribution . Laetiporus is a genus of edible mushrooms found throughout much of the world. I … Because chicken of the woods are extremely firm and fleshy, you can prepare them on the grill, similarly to a portobello. Summary 2 Laetiporus sulphureus is a species of bracket fungus (fungus that grows on trees) found in Europe and North America. The texture is similar, and it can be a good replacement in any recipes that call for chicken. Charleston, Colombia - Seeking the Medicine - Winter 2015, India - Seeking the Medicine - Botanical Journey, 2012. Serve it as an appetizer, side dish, or add it to meat or pasta. This bracket fungi is found throughout Canada, U.S., Europe, and parts of Asia. The young Chicken of the Woods is “succulent” and has a mild flavor. It's been named 'chicken of the woods' because of a flavor and texture similar to that of chicken Always stay safe when foraging. This mushroom is in the Laetiporus genus, of which there are 2 or 3 species in North America; namely Laetiporus sulphureus having yellow pores, and L. cincinnatus having white pores. Because this mushroom grows when many other mushrooms have stopped fruiting and it tastes a bit like chicken, one can understand why many people soldier on … A fast growing mushroom, some flushes can produce massive quantities. Found on dead or dying Oak, Cherry, Willow, Yew, Sweet Chestnut, and Beech, Cap is yellow, pink or orange, often in bands of these colours, Often several caps stacked one on top of the others, Flesh is white and resembles cooked chicken breast, Growth: Chicken of the Woods is saprobic growing on dead or dying Oak, Sweet Chestnut, Cherry, Willow, Yew, and sometimes Beech, Cap: Size is up to 50cm, sometimes larger, and often layered one on top of the other. Forage at your own risk. Although there is no evidence that Chicken of the Woods takes up toxins from you tree, we are not currently aware of any scientific proof that it does not. Chicken of the Woods mushrooms are considered a great beginner's mushroom because there's nothing else out there that looks like this. It tends to lighten in color near the edges. After carefully squeezing past the nettles and brambles to investigate, I found myself standing on a pile of old logs. Fresh Chicken of the Woods are a very tasty mushroom. Pores: The pore surface is white or pale yellow the pores often too small to see with the naked eye. Please let us know if you know of any, Importance to other species Unknown. Take Chicken Of The Woods, for example. The chaps at the restaurant wrote in with a suggestion that we go foraging for some Chicken of the Wood mushrooms since they're currently abundant in the UK and Ireland and are easy to recognise. A tolerance test should be carried out before consuming for the first time. Free Food. In North Carolina we have two species: Laetiporus sulphureus and Laetiporus cincinnatus. Foraged food costs nothing except the time you spend finding and picking it. Some species, especially Laetiporus sulphureus, are commonly known as sulphur shelf, chicken of the woods, the chicken mushroom, or the chicken fungus because many think they taste like chicken.The name "chicken of the woods" is not to be confused with another edible polypore, Maitake (Grifola frondosa) known as … Chicken Of The Woods. L. sulphureus is generally considered a fall mushroom, and L. cincinnatus is usually found in mid-summer in my part of the world.Both are easy to spot thanks to their vibrant color. Even if you do eat meat, it can be a nice way to cut down on your meat intake without sacrificing the flavor of your meals. Chicken of the woods is a vital species, supporting a host of wildlife. Chicken of the Woods (aka sulphur shelf, aka chicken mushroom) actually refers to several mushrooms in the genus Laetiporus. From my experience, each tree hosting a chicken mushroom will tend to have it’s own “clock”, meaning that you could go somewhere and cut one, then come back two months later a… Also, medicinal mushroom research has also shown that chicken of the woods is also medicinal and is active against staph, ” All strains demonstrated antimicrobial activity against a wide spectrum of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria during agar and submerged cultivation including methicillin-resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and glycopeptide-resistant strain of Leuconostoc mesenteroides.” – Check out more about their medicinal aspects at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12741318. With "petals" that fan out like flowers or hen feathers, they're sometimes referred to as dancing mushrooms, especially in Japan, where folk legends tell of people dancing for joy when they found them. The Return to Nature #Savetheseeds initiative! Flesh: White and fibrous, resembling cooked chicken breast, Possible lookalikes Could be confused with some specimens of Giant Polypore (Meripilus giganteus), but this prefers Beech and bruises brown to black. of which there is no relation, other than their common name. Popular edible varieties include cep, chicken of the woods, chanterelle, wood blewitt, hedgehog fungus and morel. Required fields are marked *. Your email address will not be published. It can often be found in tiered clusters on oak, but also likes beech, chestnut, cherry and … It might not seem that important, but part of what makes this so addictive is the crust, as well as your mushroom being in a good stage for eating in a thick slice. 2. Here’s a video on ethical and sustainable harvest in a tongue-in-cheek “zen” way: Check out more videos at the Return to Nature Youtube Channel, Our Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/returntonatureskills By Alyssa Craft | 7/25/2016 10:35:00 AM. Otherwise, it can be one of many other mushrooms, some of which can be poisonous. Sulphureus is a refernece to the yellow colouring if the fruit bodies We do have dried chicken of the woods all year. “Seeking the Medicine” Herbal Series Intention. One main issue in their edibility is people harvesting it once the mushroom is dried out. Chicken of the woods has been known to fruit on living trees as well. It’s probably worth doing this anyway, just to have more. This mushroom is in the Laetiporus genus, of which there are 2 or 3 species in North America; namely Laetiporus sulphureus having yellow pores, and L. cincinnatus having white pores. Hazards This mushroom causes gastric upset and nausea in some people. Sacred Ecology Retreat – California, Jan. 2018, Foragemobile Forest retreat at Mt. Firstly, I have to stress if picking wild mushrooms, or any wild flora, fauna or fungus, you must be one hundred percent sure on the I.D. This is easily avoided by only eating a small amount to see first how you’ll react to it, and this is especially important for children.