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 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.
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.
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 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.chicken of the woods, foraging, fungi, laetiporus sulphureus, mushrooms, wild food