Chicken of the Woods

September 25th, 2010

Despite the continual lack of rain here in Southern Indiana, the few drops that have precipitated have produced some Chicken of the Woods, a choice edible fall mushroom.  We were fortunate to find this bright orange fall mushroom, the ‘Laetiporus sulphureus’.

This is a great edible wild mushroom and an excellent one for beginning hunters to start with due to it’s distinctive features. Chicken of the Woods, as it is commonly called, is a orange polypore, meaning it does not have gills, rather tiny pores on the underside, with soft flesh.  The fruiting body is found growing above ground on standing or fallen rotting hardwood trees. ‘Laetiporus sulphureus’  has the distinctive orange top and a bright yellow underside.

Chicken of the Woods

‘Laetiporus sulphureus’ Image by Connie Clause

Another variety, ‘Laetiporus cincinnatus’ has a whitish underside and is found growing near or at the base of decaying hardwood trees, commonly oak .

chicken2

‘Laetiporus sulphereus’ – Bright yellow underside

chicken cici

‘Laetiporus cincinnatus’ – White underside

Chicken of the Woods, both varieties, usually grow in clusters in late summer and fall.   The mushroom matures quickly and it’s edibility is best when young and the flesh around the edges is preferred.  A single tree can produce up to 50 lbs of fungi!

Now it’s time to eat!  There are many ways to prepare Chicken of the Woods.  It is always important when cooking with wild mushrooms to properly clean them by removing excess debris and soaking in salt water to remove and bugs.  It is NOT recommended to eat wild mushrooms raw and be sure to cook thoroughly to remove all parasites. Here is a great recipe that plays off of Country Fried Steak- all who enjoyed said it tasted better than chicken!


Country Fried Chicken of the Woods with Basil Cream Sauce

1/2 lb fresh Chicken of the Woods
2 eggs
1 tbsp. hot sauce
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup flour
1 tbsp. paprika
2 cups vegetable oil
salt and pepper

Basil Cream Sauce
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
Aprox 5 stalks fresh basil
2 tbsp. flour

Soaked the Laetiporus cincinnatus mushrooms in some cold water with salt for about 20 min.

Make an egg wash with 2 eggs, 2 tbsp. water, and 1 tbsp. hot sauce.

Mixed 1 cup bread crumbs with 1 cup flour and 1 tbsp. of paprika.

Pat dry the Chicken and coat with egg wash followed by bread crumb/flour mix.

Heated up about 3 inches in vegetable oil in a deep pan until it sizzles when water hit it.

cooked on each side for 4-5 min. adjust for temp.

k

Sauce

Started with 2 cups of chicken broth brought to a boil. Remove from head and added 1 cup of sour cream and fresh basil chopped.

Lower heat and keep stirring.

Slowly sifted in 2 tbsp. of flour to thicken up sauce.

chicken fried chicken

This is what I call country fried chicken of the woods. a Play on country fried steak. Served with mashed potatoes and green beans with a basil cream sauce.

ENJOY!


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September HMS 11th Meeting Postponed

September 8th, 2010

We regret to announce that due to the horribly beautiful weather we continue to have and lack of glorious rain, this weekend’s foray scheduled for Saturday September 11th will be postponed until October 2nd.  This will also act as the October meeting for The Hoosier Mushroom Society. After the driest Augusts since 1897 and still no rain.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause in weekend plans made.  The Hoosier Mushroom Company retail  and gift shop, at 30 E. Washington in Downtown Nashville, IN, will be open all weekend so if you are in the area please feel free to stop by and say hello. Also as members of the society, you have access to our library which contains books ranging from mushroom cultivation, identification, composting, cooking and more!

Again, here are the details for the next meeting of The Hoosier Mushroom Society that will take place Saturday October 2, 2010 at 3pm.

Next Meeting of the Hoosier Mushroom Society

The next meeting of this organization will take place October 2nd at 3pm. We are going to be meeting at Morgan-Monroe State Forest.  There is a shelter located near Cherry Lake – at the junction of Forest Rd. and Service Rd. There is a large picnic area, and it is close to the forest office.

As with the last event, we would ask everyone to bring a good food or drink item so we can have a pitch-in dinner at the end of the event. Also, BYOB/cocktails.
Directions:

Morgan Monroe State Forest is located between Martinsville, IN and Bloomington, IN – just east of State Road 37. Coming either North or South on S.R. 37, there will be signage along side the road for an entrance into the State Forest. Follow the signs toward the Park Office, which is very near the Cherry Lake Shelter.

Camping:

Available at the Mason Ridge Campground, located behind the fire tower to the north of the Forest Office. There are picnic tables and grills at each of the primitive camping sites. We had a great time camping after the last event!
Schedule:

? – 3pm – Feel free to come early and hunt throughout the park until we first gather.
3:00 – 3:30 – Gather at Cherry Lake Shelter – Introductions
3:30 – 6:00 – Hunting time
6:00 – 8:00 – ID Our Finds, Food, Discussion

We will have printouts of a selected dichotomous key for everyone. We will work through the key together, learning some of the identification basics about what to look for, and how to use a key to identify mushrooms.

Also, be sure to check on your stem butt cultures. Just open the bag and the cardboard. You should see mycelial threads beginning to stretch away from the stem butt locations. They should be coming along nicely for those who made them at the last meeting. Be sure to bring it with you to this upcoming meeting.


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Next Meeting of the Hoosier Mushroom Society

September 6th, 2010

The next meeting of this organization will take place September 11th at 3pm. We are going to be meeting at Morgan-Monroe State Forest.  There is a shelter located near Cherry Lake – at the junction of Forest Rd. and Service Rd. There is a large picnic area, and it is close to the forest office.

As with the last event, we would ask everyone to bring a good food or drink item so we can have a pitch-in dinner at the end of the event. Also, BYOB/cocktails.

IF WE CONTINUE THIS CYCLE OF NO RAIN, THIS EVENT WILL BE POSTPONED. PLEASE CHECK YOUR EMAIL, OUR BLOG, OR OUR FACEBOOK PAGE BEFORE THE EVENT TO MAKE SURE IT IS STILL ON AS SCHEDULED.
Directions:

Morgan Monroe State Forest is located between Martinsville, IN and Bloomington, IN – just east of State Road 37. Coming either North or South on S.R. 37, there will be signage along side the road for an entrance into the State Forest. Follow the signs toward the Park Office, which is very near the Cherry Lake Shelter.

Camping:

Available at the Mason Ridge Campground, located behind the fire tower to the north of the Forest Office. There are picnic tables and grills at each of the primitive camping sites. We had a great time camping after the last event!
Schedule:

? – 3pm – Feel free to come early and hunt throughout the park until we first gather.
3:00 – 3:30 – Gather at Cherry Lake Shelter – Introductions
3:30 – 6:00 – Hunting time
6:00 – 8:00 – ID Our Finds, Food, Discussion

We will have printouts of a selected dichotomous key for everyone. We will work through the key together, learning some of the identification basics about what to look for, and how to use a key to identify mushrooms.

Also, be sure to check on your stem butt cultures. Just open the bag and the cardboard. You should see mycelial threads beginning to stretch away from the stem butt locations. They should be coming along nicely for those who made them at the last meeting. Be sure to bring it with you to this upcoming meeting.


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