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Saturday, August 14, 2010

189/365: Chicken of the Woods!

Found a three pound clump of the famed Chicken of the Woods last night. Its been called the "60 mile an hour" mushroom, because you can spot it while driving 60 on the highway. I was doing about 15mph rounding a bend when I spotted this nice fresh sample.

Laetiporus sulphureus, also known as sulphur shelf, is one of the "foolproof four," an excellent mushroom for beginners, since it has no dangerous lookalikes. Just don't pick it if it is growing on hemlock. As with any wild food, some people can have an allergic reaction, so if you're a first timer, just take a nibble of a cooked sample.

The mushroom has the texture and consistency of cooked chicken, and if you cook it in chicken broth, it tastes like chicken too! When I find it, its usually in enormous clumps, so I blanch it in boiling water and then freeze it for later. This sample yielded two pounds of cleaned mushroom for freezing.

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