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Plantidote of the Day 2011-05-19

twig's picture

chicken mushroom

Laetiporus sulphureus

Chicken mushroom or hen of the woods

Correntian Eureka Springs spotted this brightly colored tree fungus growing in the forest near his home in Arkansas recently. As it turns out, this is not just an interesting image. It could also be lunch. Or dinner. Your choice!

As ES explains:

[It's] chicken mushroom... sometimes called hen of the woods, I believe.... absolutely delicious sautéed in butter and salt or with just about any dish you would normally cook with mushrooms.... and sometimes they get HUGE.... I've personally collected individual ones weighing well over twenty pounds. Sometime filling several grocery paper bags with one discovery....

If you're wondering what this fungus tastes like, the name is a clue -- it tastes like chicken! Before you head for the woods, please read the cautions about look-alikes from a Cornell student writing about "mycological poultry." The writer also included a delicious sounding recipe for a Polypore Omelet, so if you happen to score one, you'll know what to do with it.

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Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

this photo is a few years old... though i have enjoyed the bounty of a friends early find this year. In fact i always keep dried chicken mushroom in the truck and sprinkle it on select old trees... occasionally it works... and weeks/months later the tree is covered in chicken mushroom.

twig's picture
Submitted by twig on

So in a way, you're raising your own. What a great idea!