Fried Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms has the crunch and texture of fried chicken, with the mild aroma of mushroom and forest. Vegetarians will go crazy – if they can keep the carnivores away from this.
Chicken of the woods, of the Laetiporus genus, are fairly common and easy to recognize. Any wild mushroom, you should have to consult an expert to positively identify any specimen you plan to eat.
Wild mushrooms are only just beginning to become a part of American culinary traditions, and it can be tricky to find chicken of the woods recipes.
Most chicken of the woods recipes seem to take a chicken recipe. Directly substitute the mushrooms in place of the chicken to make a vegan or vegetarian version.
How to prepare Fried Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms?
Fried Chicken of the Woods MushroomsCourse: VegetarianCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion
1-1 ½ lbs. chicken of the woods mushrooms
1 stick (1/2 cup) of earth balance or other vegan butter
1 cup coconut cream
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 loosely packed cup of parsley or cilantro, chopped
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp chili powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp powdered ginger
½ tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
- Dice the onion, mince the garlic, and clean and use your fingers to peel the chicken of the woods into bite-sized pieces
- Melt the butter in a large skillet, and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions are beginning to become translucent, then add in the spice mixture, stirring well.
- After a few seconds, add the chicken of the woods, tossing to make sure all of the mushrooms are covered in the butter and spices. Let cook for about 5 minutes, flipping occasionally so both sides cook.
- Next add the tomato paste and coconut cream, stirring until the paste is mixed in. Heat until it bubbles before lowering the heat and allowing to simmer for 10 minutes.
- Finally, turn off the heat and stir in the cilantro or parsley. Serve with rice.
- Getting all the bits of dirt, twigs and leaves out involves a careful inspection of each mushroom, which you can do while you carefully shred the mushrooms into bite-sized pieces. The cooking process is as follows- first, melt the butter, add the spices and then the mushroom, let the mushroom absorb the spices and butter, add the cream and let simmer until cooked.
Fried Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms are more of an edible fungus than a mushroom. They have no stems or caps. They grow all over the world on tree stumps, particularly those of hardwood trees such as ash, elm, eucalyptus, and hickory trees.
In size, they can from 2 to 10 inches wide (5 to 25 cm), and can weigh up to 50 pounds (23 kg.) They die back in winter, but will grow back year after year in the same spot. They usually grow in clusters, taking about 6 to 12 months to form. They have pores instead of gills to produce their spores in.
They grow in two colours, yellow and salmon. The yellow-coloured ones are more fleshy and the salmon-coloured ones are flatter. As they age, both colours will turn whitish (don’t eat older ones: see Nutrition below.)
When collecting them, mushroom hunters cut off and gather only the outer 1 inch (2.5cm) edge, which being the youngest part will be the best tasting, because the closer you get to the tree the woodier the taste gets. Younger parts are also a bit less likely to cause reactions amongst people.
Chicken-of-the-Woods Mushrooms feel a bit like suede in your hand before cooking. They have a very bland taste, and don’t taste anything like chicken, of course. The best that can be said about them in terms of flavour is that they absorb other flavours in a dish.
They must be cooked thoroughly and never eaten raw. In fact, they should be boiled before further cooking, such as frying. Never use old ones or old parts of one.