***Warning***Some may be sensitive to Chicken of the Woods and may cause Nausea***
Autumn is slowly turning and harvests are in full force, leaves are slowly changing into their yearly multicolor spectacle and late summer and fall mushrooms are out in full force! I found a fresh Chicken of the Woods Laetiporus Sulphureus recently in the old growth forest Caldwell Nature preserve. This was a beautiful specimen that was fresh and spongy with a single hint of insect infestation! I excitedly gathered a modest amount, without overharvesting, and came home to prepare.
I had previously made chicken of the woods nuggets where I had put the Chicken of the Woods (COTW) in a food processor, added egg, flour, breadcrumbs and spices. I made patties about the size of a tea spoon and then fried them to perfection. My true test of whether I am able to extract a food from the forest and make it into a meal is whether my kids ate what I have prepared. With these nuggets, I knew I had been successful. My family ate the chicken of the woods nuggets with sauces and sides and enjoyed out bounty from the forest.
In the video featured, I explain a little about how to know when your mushroom harvest is good for preparation. This time around, I got a little lazy to prepare my nuggets, so I just sautéed the mushroom slices in olive oil. I ended up eating these mushrooms as crispy additions to my morning omelet. I spiced with salt and garlic for an added flavor to the famous COTW texture.
If you find a COTW during your fall outings, this is a classic find that never disappoints.
COTW is relatively easy to spot and to identify as well, so its a great starting species for a fall foraging outing. Keep eyes open for splashes of orange in the forest landscape. Since COTW is a parasitic fungus, you will mostly find it on living trees.
***Some have been known to become nauseously ill from COTW, so use some caution and try small amounts before consuming a large amount***