If you are wondering what chicken of the woods recipe to prepare, you came to the right place. It is always a good idea to understand what this mushroom is, how to harvest it, how to cook with it, and how to store it.
What is the chicken of the woods?
This edible wild mushroom lives off trees until they die and then continues to live on the decaying trunks. The name chicken of the woods comes from the fact that once cooked, it resembles poultry, both in texture and flavor.
When harvesting this mushroom, you can identify it by its gold, orange, and yellow colors, its ruffled layers, and the lack of gills. Be careful when you go out to hunt these mushrooms, as there are some imitators out there that look similar, but have gills and may be poisonous.
Another reason that people called this mushroom chicken of the woods is the high amount of protein that they contain. This fungus usually contains 21g of protein in two cups, which makes it a great meat substitute when it comes to vegetarian and vegan meals. As if that wasn’t enough, you can also get a whole lot of complex carbohydrates from this mushroom.
How to clean your chicken of the woods
Before you even think about cooking, the best thing to do is clean your chicken of the woods. Because this mushroom is only available in the wild, it will likely have a ton of dirt on it. Start by cutting out any bruised pieces, or parts that bugs may have eaten. You can then choose a brush that is not too firm and remove any dirt that remains. If a brush isn’t available, use a damp towel instead. Finally, give your mushroom a quick rinse to remove any stubborn dirt that may remain and then dry it immediately with a clean paper towel.
Here are the 3 tips for choosing the right chicken of the woods recipe
Tip #1: You can sauté your mushrooms
Because this mushroom needs to be cooked before eating, one of the best ways to pick a tasty recipe is sautéing it. Start by slicing your mushrooms into thin long pieces. While you do this, allow the olive oil, or your chosen oil, to warm up in a pan. Add a little bit of soy sauce, and cook for about 15 minutes, moving the slices around so they cook evenly.
This Chinese mushroom chicken recipe is a great example of a delicious and easy method to prepare your chicken of the woods.
Tip #2: For flavor and texture, try deep-frying your chicken of the woods
Since this mushroom mimics both the flavor and texture of chicken, then why not prepare it deep-fried as you would do with the real thing? To do this, start by cutting up your mushroom into long fillets that resemble what a chicken breast would look like. Make sure to remove any tough-looking parts, but save them for a stew or soup.
Break a couple of eggs into a bowl, as well as whole-wheat flour, or your chosen type of flour, in another bowl. You can season the flour with cayenne pepper or your favorite spice. Dip each fillet into the egg and then the flour. While you do this, start warming up your oil in a pan. Be sure to add at least ¼ cup of your frying oil.
You can now drop the fillets into the pan and move them around until they turn golden brown. Because there is less meat on your mushrooms, they will be ready much faster than chicken would, so be careful and keep a close eye on them.
Try this crispy-fried mushroom recipe with your delicious and nutritious chicken of the woods.
Tips #3: Make a flavorful and filling soup
While many are skeptical of soups these days, the truth is, this is the healthiest way to prepare your chicken of the woods mushrooms.
You can use actual meat in this soup to add flavor. Start by adding your chicken drumsticks to a big pot with water, which will allow them to flavor your broth. Add minced garlic and some ginger powder. Bring everything to a boil for 30 minutes, or until you see the chicken is cooked.
Add cilantro, cabbage, and celery for texture. But don’t forget about chopping up your chicken of the woods into squares and adding them to the soup. Continue to boil for another 10-15 minutes. And that’s it! You now have a nutritious soup full of protein.
Start cooking with your chicken of the woods mushroom!
What are you waiting for? Try these quick and fool-proof cooking methods and yummy recipes.