Browsing the archives for the chicken mushroom tag.

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How To Store Extra Wild Mushrooms

General Posts

Chicken Mushroom (Sulfur Shelf)

Chicken Mushroom (Sulfur Shelf)

Too many mushrooms? Sometimes it happens. We stumble upon a downed tree covered with chicken mushrooms. We sneak a peak behind an old oak and find fifty pounds of hens of the woods (oh, how I wish!) We walk through the woods passing giant puffball after giant puffball. Much of it we leave but sometimes we take more than we can stomach in a sitting or two. So….what to do with the extra?

Having dried or frozen wild mushrooms on hand is actually awesome. In the middle of the winter how nice it is to cook up a maitake chili, or top our omelets with morels…pure decadence!

But every mushroom is different: some dry better than others, some fresh freeze wonderfully, and some it’s best to cook before freezing. Here is what I do with my extras:

  • Morels: having excess morels is rare but possible. These I dehydrate and they reconstitute beautifully.
  • Chicken mushrooms: I have never dried because I hear they “turn to dust.” This year I tired fresh freezing extra chicken mushroom, and also dry sauteed some and then froze it. In both cases I cut it first before freezing because as a rule it’s best not to thaw mushrooms, just throw them from the freezer into a hot pan or pot.
  • Hens of the Woods (Maitake) - these store well both dried and fresh frozen (I’ve done both.) I also cut these into smaller pieces when drying or freezing and again, don’t thaw the mushrooms before using; just throw them from the freezer onto a hot pan or into a hot pot (which is why I cut them before freezing.)
  • Giant Puffballs: Cook and freeze. They can be sauteed, fried, blanched, steamed, baked, grilled…however you want to cook them and then freeze them.

How have you stored your extra mushrooms? I’d love to hear if you have different experiences or advice on how to preserve the mushrooms!

Love and giant puffballs,


~ Food Under Foot


Hot-To-Trot “Chicken” Wings (vegetarian/vegan and gluten-free)

General Posts, Recipes

Chicken mushroom

Chicken mushroom

Chicken wings were a big part of my teenage years. Even though Syracuse, New York is not Buffalo, my friends and I saw our fair share of hot chicken wings in the 80’s.

I even worked at a fast food chicken joint in the 80’s and learned the secret hot sauce recipe:

  • Hot: 3 parts Tabasco to 1 part butter*
  • Medium: equal parts Tabasco and butter
  • Mild: 1 part Tabasco to 3 parts butter

*now of course Earth Balance or another vegan butter replacement can be substituted to make it vegan

But all that was long lost since going vegetarian in 1987. And though I did not miss the stringy veiny chicken wings, that sauce….oh, that sauce.

Then I started finding vegetarian “chicken” wings made from seitan (wheat gluten) and I was so happy! They were delicious and all I could hope for. Except for the wheat. Since being gluten-free I’ve had to give up those and THOSE I dearly miss.

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier, but suddenly this was the year that I thought to use chicken mushroom and try to make those wings. Maybe because I never actually made wings or seitan “wings” myself before (aside from lowering wings into the fryer at the fast food place, then tossing them in a bucket to shake on the sauce. I’ve never deep fried anything in my own home.)

“You can use chicken mushroom in any recipe that calls for chicken,” I’ve seen written and heard said.

And so….

Hot "chicken wings, made with chicken mushroom

Hot "chicken" wings, made with chicken mushroom

Wonderful! Heavenly! Spicy nirvana!

I simply sliced and sauteed the chicken mushroom in olive oil (adding salt), then melted some butter (you can use a vegan butter substitute such as Earth Balance) and mixed in an equal amount of hot sauce (alas, we had no Tobasco at home so I used Frank’s hot sauce), and tossed the mushrooms in the hot sauce at the end of cooking.

This is definitely a keeper.

~ Melissa


Week 17: Three Kinds of Mushrooms!

CSF Newsletters

Today is week 17 of the CSF!

In the share this week:

  • puffball mushroom *NEW
  • chanterelle mushroom *NEW
  • chicken mushroom
  • wood sorrel
  • quickweed
  • wild grape leaves

This week we have 3 kinds of edible mushrooms for you to sample: puffball, chanterelles and the chicken mushroom (which you’ve had before.)

Now that it is been raining all kinds of mushrooms are coming up!

Be sure to use caution with wild mushrooms: always cook them first, of course. But beyond that, some people have trouble digesting mushrooms, even well cooked edible ones. So if it’s your first time eating something, just eat a little at first and wait a day to make sure it doesn’t have a bad effect on you.

I would also recommend not mixing the mushrooms if it’s your first time eating any of them. Cook and sample them separately and note any effects.

We also changed up the greens this week just in case you were getting tired of purslane.

This week we have wood sorrel (aka sour grass), which is best to avoid in large quantities if you have kidney stone issues due to it’s higher content of oxalic acid. If you have no issues enjoy this green in salads or as garnish on dishes. It’s tart and delicious.

We also have quickweed, which is an abundant green right now. It has a bit of an earthy taste. You can enjoy it fresh or cooked, see what you like. Use it as you would any green, like spinach.

Finally we have more grape leaves. We tried to pick nice tender ones for you today! Cook them first before using: boil/simmer them at least 15 minutes to soften. Then they will roll nicely and become less chewy. To preserve, place in salted water (I did not cook the ones I am preserving, but you can blanche them first) and keep them in the water in the fridge.

Thanks and enjoy!!



Week 16: Chicken Mushroom!

CSF Newsletters

chicken mushroom, Laetiporus sulfureus

chicken mushroom, Laetiporus sulfureus

This week it finally rained! So we scoured the woods and found enough chicken mushroom for all of us to have a wonderful meal! (This plus another bloom about this size.) Hip hip hooray! It is always so nice to find edible wild mushrooms to share.

Chicken mushroom is considered a safe mushroom, in that there are no poison look alikes…but you need to know what you are looking for! It is a polypore, which means it is a “shelf” mushroom (looks more like a shelf than an umbrella - the “classic” mushroom shape), it grows from wood (often dead wood), and it does NOT have gills on the underside, instead it has tiny pores (hence the name, “polypore”.) Chicken mushroom is bright yellow/orange, and the underside of Laetiporus sulfureus is yellow. There is another variety of chicken mushroom - Laetiporus cinncinatus - whose underside is white. This *IS* another bright yellow mushroom which grows on wood, but it has GILLS on the underside: The Jack O’Lantern. The Jack O’Lantern is poisonous (it makes you sick, though is not usually deadly). So make sure if you’re out in the woods you check the underside: NO GILLS!

Chicken mushrooms must be cooked before eating!!

You have so much this week you can really experiment. I like it sliced and sauteed in butter. I usually add water as well so it doesn’t dry out. After that…it’s up to you! I just eat it, maybe put it on top of a salad or eat as a side dish. you can use the cooked chicken mushroom in place of cooked chicken in chicken salad. Here is what Steve Brill writes about chicken mushroom, including links to a few recipes at the bottom of the page. My Vegan Chicken-Mushroom Fricassee was delicious if you wanted to try that!

Here is what is in your share this week:

  • chicken mushroom
  • cornelian cherries
  • purslane
  • sumac
  • wild grape leaves (we had a request for more of these! They are really fun to work with!)
  • peppermint - thanks to massage therapist extraordinaire and CSF member Claire who donated mint to the share this week!! Thank you Claire!!

Some of our share laid out this week: staghorn sumac, chicken mushroom, wild grape leaves

Some of our share laid out this week: staghorn sumac, chicken mushroom, wild grape leaves

Did you enjoy the cornelian cherries last week? Did you let them get ripe (soft and sweet?) As with last week they should ripen within a day or two. They ripen off the tree, so keep them out of the fridge and they should soften right up. Once ripe go ahead and put them in the fridge (keeps the fruit flies away! I have a cloth over mine as they ripen on the counter.) They can be eaten plain, raw (which is what our family did), or you can make something yummy with them, like a cornelian cherry and apple cobbler! Here’s a great page with info on the cornelian cherry (which is not really a cherry at all, but a member of the dogwood family.) Remember to be careful of the hard pit inside the fruit.

cornelian cherries

cornelian cherries

We had a request for more grape leaves, so more you got! Have you been making stuffed grape leaves? (The tutorial on rolling grape leaves.) Last time I made them I steamed them instead of sauteeing…very good as well!

If you want to do something with the sumac besides sumac lemonade, you can dry it and make a lemony spice from it. Strip the berries off the central stalk and lay them out on a tray. If you have a dehydrator you can use it, or you can air dry it (or put it in the stove on low heat until dry.) Once it’s dry grind it in a blender or coffee grinder and store in glass jars. Za’atar is a middle eastern spice blend used on veggies and meats. The main ingredient is sumac. Here is a recipe for za’atar.

Thanks again Claire for the mint!!!

Enjoy your share this week!!!

Love and chicken mushrooms,



Vegan Chicken Mushroom Fricassee (With Cashew Cream Sauce)


Vegan (and gluten free) chicken mushroom fricassee with cashew cream sauce

Vegan (and gluten free) chicken mushroom fricassee with cashew cream sauce

Here is a delicious recipe using the wild Chicken Mushroom, or Sulfur Shelf (Laetiporus sulfureus). This is one of my favorite wild mushrooms. It tastes delicious once cooked (it must always be cooked!) and is fun to find. Bright yellow/orange, this shelf mushroom grows on dead wood (occasionally you’ll find it growing on live wood). It has no gills on its underside - this is very important! A gilled yellow mushroom growing on wood could be the poisonous Jack O’Lantern. The Chicken mushroom is a polypore, so its underside is made up of very tiny pores which you would actually need a magnifying glass to see. Just make sure there are no gills!

Chicken mushroom/Sulfur Shelf

Chicken mushroom/Sulfur Shelf

As I was “plating” this recipe for photographing, the word “fricassee” popped into my head. I wanted to call it “Chicken Mushroom Fricassee,” but truth be told, I wasn’t 100% sure what “fricassee” meant. So I looked it up and here is what it said on wikipedia:

Fricassee is a catch-all term used to describe a stewed dish typically made with poultry, but other types of white meat can be substituted. It is cut into pieces and then stewed in gravy, which is then thickened with butter and cream or milk (see white gravy). It often includes other ingredients and vegetables.”

So in a way: perfect! (and in another way…I replaced chicken with chicken mushroom, and my butter/cream gravy is made with cashew cream, making the whole recipe vegan and gluten-free, and my “white” gravy was orange due to the carrot…so again, perfect! ;-) )

Cashew Cream sauce

  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1 - 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp onion
  • 1 carrot (optional, it will turn sauce orange)
  • 1/2 tomato
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp wheat-free tamari
  • water to cover, and possibly more if needed as blending, should end up being a thick sauce
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, adds a bit of cheesy flavor)

Blend all ingredients in vitamix or high powered blender until smooth.

Other ingredients:

  • chicken mushroom, sliced (as much as you want and can find!) we used about a pound or so
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil (to saute onion and mushroom)
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • pinch cayenne (optional)
  • extra water if necessary
  • extra gluten free tamari if necessary

Saute sliced chicken mushroom and onion in olive oil for at least 15 minutes, adding water to steam if pan becomes too dry.

Add cashew cream sauce, mix and heat through. Add spices. Sauce will thicken, add more water and/or tamari (for saltiness) if necessary. If you’ve added more water continue to mix and heat until sauce regains thick consistency.

chicken mushroom fricassee, still in the pan

chicken mushroom fricassee, still in the pan

Serve over brown rice or noodles.

Very yum!!!

~ Melissa Sokulski

Food Under Foot


Week 12 Community Supported Foraging

CSF Newsletters, General Posts

Chicken mushroom/Sulfur Shelf

Chicken mushroom/Sulfur Shelf

What an exciting share we have for you this week!! (Do I say that every week??)

Even though it has been dryer than dry here in Western PA, Dave and his eagle eyes spotted some young fresh chicken mushroom for you! We also have some other amazing things this week:

  • Chicken Mushroom *NEW
  • Sassafras saplings *NEW
  • Staghorn Sumac *NEW
  • Purslane
  • Lambs Quarters
  • Day Lily Buds

Holy Amazing Batman!! (Yes, the new batman movie was filmed in Pittsburgh! Warning - this links to a violent/intense trailer…Batman isn’t the lovable character he once was! But Hines Ward is in this trailer.)

Like most wild mushrooms, The Chicken Mushroom MUST BE COOKED BEFORE EATING!!

In general, you can use it in place of chicken in any recipe. I like to chop it, saute it in butter, and eat it with eggs. Or make “chicken salad” with it, by taking the chopped cooked pieces of the mushroom as I would chopped cooked chicken, and mix with mayonnaise, celery, onion, and mustard.

Here is a recipe for Chicken Mushroom Satay from The 3 Foragers that I am extremely eager to try!

Always remember to use caution when trying any new food, but especially mushrooms (they have complex proteins that may be entirely new for your body to digest). Sample a little (cooked!!) at first and make sure you feel ok. This is always a good rule to follow for any new food.

Wildman Steve Brill also has some great information and recipes for Chicken Mushroom, check him out. Here is his video about chicken mushroom - very informative!

Sassafras sapling

Sassafras sapling

The sassafras sapling makes a delicious tea - just boiled in water. You can boil the whole small sapling: roots, stem, leaves and all.  You can decide whether you want to sweeten it with honey or not.

red berry cluster of staghorn sumac

red berry cluster of staghorn sumac

The last new ingredient, staghorn sumac, also makes an excellent drink. Just soak the entire “blossom” in cold water overnight, and you will have a lemony, vitamin C-rich drink akin to lemonade. Again, you may want to sweeten it or enjoy as is.  Here I take you through how to make this sumac-ade,  step by step. You can also dry the red “berries” and then use them as a lemony spice (used in Middle Eastern cooking.)

The purslane and lambsquarters give you excellent greens to work with again this week. Again we must thank Erin for the amazing purslane! Her urban homestead is for sale!! If you want to have too much purslane to know what to do with - and end up calling me to get some ;-) Check out their incredibly beautiful property, right across the street from Garden Dreams Urban Farm and Nursery.

The lambs quarters stalk is getting thick, so I recommend just using the leaves at this point. They can be eaten raw or cooked - use just like spinach.

And this may be your last week for day lily buds, so enjoy them fully! If you’ve had your fill for now, simply dehydrate the buds and use them later in soups. It’s what they do in Asia and it adds a great flavor!

Sauteed chicken mushroom and day lily buds with onions and garlic over basmati rice

Sauteed chicken mushroom and day lily buds with onions and garlic over basmati rice

This morning I sauteed the chicken mushroom in a little butter, then added onion and garlic and a handful of day lily buds (which only need a quick saute), some gluten-free tamari and mirin and served over a bed of brown basmati rice. Yummmm!

Lots of love,



Chicken Mushrooms

General Posts, Identification, Recipes

Chicken Mushrooms

Chicken Mushrooms

I have been so lax about posting here…I am so sorry! If you haven’t joined us on Facebook, please do so! It’s a bit easier to be active in little blurbs, and there’s a lot of action over there.

But there’s actually a lot going on here as well, just behind the scenes. I’ll make a commitment to put it up in the forefront…I’ll try to get more posts up here!

We’ve been having a fun fall, gathering and cooking acorns, finding black walnuts, and today was glorious when we found a Chicken Mushroom! (Also known as Sulphur Shelf or Laetiporus sulphureus).

I didn’t have my camera on me at the time, but you’ll notice the unmistakable orange/yellow color. They grow on dead wood like old stumps of trees and the underside has very tiny pores (NOT gills.)

Chicken Mushroom top (orange) and underside (pale yellow).

Chicken Mushroom top (orange) and underside (pale yellow).

Like almost all wild mushrooms, these need to be cooked before eating, so I sliced some up and sauteed them in olive oil:

Chicken mushroom slices sauteing in olive oil

Chicken mushroom slices sauteing in olive oil

Then in a hot wok, I sauteed red onion, garlic, scallion, zucchini, and pumpkin seeds, adding the cooked chicken mushroom at the end. I seasoned with tamari and mirin.

Chicken mushroom sauteed with veggies

Chicken mushroom sauteed with veggies

Finally I served it over brown rice.

Chicken mushroom and veggie stir fry over brown rice

Chicken mushroom and veggie stir fry over brown rice

It was very good!

Do you have any favorite ways to prepare chicken mushroom? Any favorite recipes you’d be willing to share? I’d love to hear!


Melissa Sokulski
Food Under Foot