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Chicken Of The Woods

Edible Edible
Spring Spring
Summer Summer

Great in stews and casseroles in place of chicken, stir fries or marinated in a satay sauce and skewered.

Mushroom Type
Common Names Chicken Of The Woods, Sulphur Polypore
Scientific Name Laetiporus sulphureus
Season Start May
Season End Aug
Average Mushroom height (CM) 0
Average Cap width (CM) 45
Please note that each and every mushroom you come across may vary in appearance to these photos.

Cap

Globular and sulphur coloured to start with becoming fan-like and fading to pale yellow/ivory. Solid and meaty texture.

Pores

White to pale yellow tiny, angular pores.

Flesh

Yellow/orange to ivory/white.

Habitat

Mainly on oak trunk and stumps but can grow on the stumps of cherry, sweet chestnut, willow and yew. Grows in large tiers on the trunk and stumps.

Possible Confusion

When growing on Yew, Chicken of the Woods takes in the very poisonous Taxine and Taxane which makes the mushroom poisonous and inedible.
Could be confused with the Dryads Saddle or Blackening Polypore, pictured, but both are edible.

Spore Print

White. Ellipsoid to broadly ovate.

Taste / Smell

Mushroomy and said to taste like chicken to some, it has the same texture as chicken and is good in stews as a veggie ‘meat’. Best eaten young as the older specimens become woody and acrid to the taste.¬†Should be cooked before consumption. Some people can have an allergic reaction¬† so only a small amount should be tried when first tasting this mushroom.

Frequency

Fairly common.

Other Facts

Eaten mainly in Germany and North America where they sometimes blanch and freeze it although when I have tried this it tends to become very woody, it is best eaten when young and fresh.

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