See how to cook Chicken of the Woods mushroom in many the same ways as you cook chicken and how to store them for 12 months raw in the freezer.
The Chicken of the Woods mushroom (laetiporus sulphureus) is one of my favorite mushrooms to harvest to eat. These mushrooms get huge and can really feed you for a long time. But the best part to me is that they are loaded with protein!
If you would like to learn more about the nutrition and health benefits of the Chicken of the Woods mushroom (AKA the Sulphur Shelf), then check out our other article here:
Because of the high amount of protein the Chicken of the Woods has (21g of protein in 2 cups), it could easily be used as a substitute for meat in any meal you prepare with a meaty texture. Matter of fact, it is a whole meal all by itself with all the carbohydrates and protein you need in meal.
Chicken of the Woods is one of those mushrooms that you don’t want to eat raw because it has been show to cause gastric distress with some people when eaten raw. There for it is recommended to cook it first.
Now let’s take a look at how to cook chicken of the woods mushroom…
How to Cook Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
When you harvest the Chicken of the Woods mushroom it is best to harvest it when it is still young, soft and moist. This is when it will taste the best.
If you happen to find an older mushroom than you may find that as you get closer to the center it gets harder and the outside remains tender. It is best to only saute the outer tender pieces and use the harder pieces in soups or teas.
Sauteed Chicken of the Woods
While my personal favorite is the simple slice and saute technique for chicken of the woods. This recipe is the most common for almost any type of mushroom that you will cook.
Just throw some olive oil in a pan over medium heat and saute them for 10 to 15 minutes until a little browned.
Deep Fried Chicken of the Woods
You can also fry the Chicken of the Woods just like you would fry chicken. You could do the following:
- Cut a couple half inch fillets of the mushroom (about the size of a chicken breast).
- Trim off the tough parts then wash and dry it.
- Dip the fillet in some egg and then in some flour (mixed with you choice of seasoning).
- Heat a frying pan with 1/4 cup of cooking oil.
- Drop your fillets in the oil and keep turning until golden brown.
Chicken of the Woods is just one of the many mushrooms that we can consider a delicacy alongside Shiitake, Oyster, and many more.
Now let’s talk about how to store Chicken of the Woods mushroom in case you harvest more than you can eat…
How To Store Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
One thing about the Chicken of the Woods is when you harvest it there will typically be A LOT of it. This is good news for you because you could harvest all of it before some else does and store it for up to a year so that you can enjoy it all year round.
If you plan to eat all of it soon then you could store it in the refrigerator…
If you plan on keeping the mushroom, you can place it inside zip-lock bags and place it inside your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer. They can last up to 3 weeks this way.
If you plan to eat it all year round then you could store it in the freezer…
If you plan on harvesting a whole lot of Chicken of the woods for future consumption, you can just cut them up in pieces then place them inside the freezer in plastic bags for up to 12 months. They don’t lose their flavor after being frozen so you won’t have to worry about them.
The cool thing about the Chicken of the Woods is that it can be stored without cooking it first. Many mushrooms (like the button mushroom) need to be cooked prior to freezing or they will lose their texture and flavor. This one doesn’t!
Some people like to dry the mushroom but they do lose their texture so they become less palatable. It is still an option though.
If you do decide to dehydrate them then you can later put them in a soup to reconstitute them. If you want to reconstitute them without putting them in a soup then you can soak them in water for 15 – 60 minutes and then strain the water out.
Chicken of the Woods mushroom is a choice edible mushroom that is ‘jam packed’ with a whopping 21 grams of protein in a 2 cup serving size. It is available to harvest the last 6 months of the year and it tastes just like chicken.
Normally when you harvest it there will be way more than you can eat, however that is okay because the cool thing about this mushroom is that you can store it in the freezer raw up to 12 months and still keep it’s flavor and texture.
Be sure to check out our other articles on the ‘little known’ nutrition and health benefits that this mushroom has. Also, if you plan to harvest it then check out our article on how to properly identify it from it’s poisonous look alike.
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