food fungi

SHORT: Chicken of the woods: this tender wild mushroom makes amazing fried chicken

Harvest chicken of the woods when the fresh fruits have tender texture and bright colours. Aging mushrooms should be avoided. (Photo by Trent Maynard)

When the wild blueberries and black huckleberries ripen in the summery subalpine, it’s time to go hunting for chicken of the woods.

The fruiting bodies of this delicious polypore (also known as chicken of the forest, sulphur polypore and sulphur shelf mushrooms) are bright orange and yellow when fresh.

In Coastal BC and the Pacific Northwest, August and September are a good bet to find a local subspecies that grows on dead or dying conifers (Laetiporus conifericola).

Chicken of the woods is a hearty and versatile mushroom, high in protein content and with firm, satisfying texture.

It is the ultimate secret ingredient to making the best vegan fried chicken. The texture and firm plumpness will transform your view of mushrooms forever.

Chicken of the woods should be very well cooked before consuming. Mushrooms can be pre-cooked (boiled or baked) before deep-frying without losing the firm texture.

They freeze well (raw or pre-cooked), making them a delicious, convenient, and forgiving mushroom, as joyous as their bright colours.

Fresh chicken of the woods sizzles in a pot of frying oil (Photo by Trent Maynard)

CAUTION: Ask an expert for help before eating foraged mushrooms.

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Fried chicken of the woods is a remarkably satisfying meat-free meal. Use this hearty, high-protein mushroom as a substitute in traditional fried chicken recipes. (Photo by Trent Maynard)