Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)

Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus)

Chicken of the Woods is fan shaped to semi-circular (irregular) and it can be smooth or finely wrinkled with an almost suede leather like texture. The fruit bodies are bracket form, with the cap measuring anywhere from 5 to 30 cm across and up to 20 cm deep, it can be up to 3cm thick.

It is bright yellow to bright orange when young, but this often fades as it matures.

Chicken of the Woods on a tree trunk

Chicken of the Woods can be found growing on dead or dying hardwood trees, mostly Oak, but also others such as Cherry, Beech, Sweet Chestnut and Yew. You should consider very carefully if you are collecting from the poisonous Yew (I do not recommend it).

It has also been known to fruit on growing healthy trees. It can be found through the Europe, the U.S., Canada and Asia.

Chicken of the Woods high up a tree

The mushroom can be prepared in most ways that one can prepare chicken meat. It can also be used as a substitute for chicken in a vegetarian diet.

The mushroom has a meaty taste. Some think that it tastes like chicken; others describe the flavour as being like crab or lobster. The fact remains that it makes a great substitute for meat in almost any dish.

Be aware!

This mushroom can sometimes cause gastric distress in some people. If you are trying this for the first time, only try a little bit to see what it does.

Other names: 

Other names are Chicken fungus, chicken mushroom and sulphur shelf. The genus is Laetiporus

Nutritional facts: Chicken of the Woods is a good source of Potassium and Vitamin C. 100g of Chicken of the Woods contains 360 calories, 6g of carbs, 6g of fibre, 21g of protein, 2g of fat, 150mg of potassium, 10% of daily Vitamin C, and 5% of Vitamin A.

*Nutritional information is for dry weight and sourced from two studies done on Laetiporus sulphureus.

1]  Kovács, D. & Vetter, János. (2015). Chemical composition of the mushroom Laetiporus sulphureus (Bull.) Murill.. Acta Alimentaria. 44. 104-110. 10.1556/AAlim.44.2015.1.10.

2] 2017 analysis published in the journal Pharmacogn

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Maddi said:

These nutritional facts are incorrect. It cannot be only 23 calories. 14g of protein = 56 calories. 6g of carbs = 24 calories. 1g of fat equal 9 calories. This means it would be equal to at least 89 calories if the other nutritional information is correct.


Manse said:

Thank you for pointing this out Maddi, I have now corrected the error.


Patrick said:

The nutritional facts, namely the calorie count and carbs seems waaay off on this. looking up nutritional information on chicken of the woods I get posts like this that say they are practically calorie free at, ~30 cal per 100g, and others that put it at around 300-400 cal per 100g. I’m going with the latter being correct. mathematically, 23 calories with that much protein, carbs, and fat is outright impossible. carbs and protein are 4 calories per gram and fat is 9 calories per gram. Adding those up brings us to 89 calories, much higher than the 23 stated off the bat.

Other places use this paper as the source for chicken of the woods nutritional information: It puts the Chicken of the woods at more like 70% carbs.


Manse said:

Thank you Patrick for your reply, it seems that I made a mistake. I have done some research and corrected the error and also referenced some scientific papers where i got the information from.


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