Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chicken of the Woods

My youngest daughter, Dahlia went out to collect money for a school fundraiser and came home with over $40, and a large cache of Laetiporus sp, more fondly know as the chicken of the woods mushroom. I have to admit, I was pretty excited; its been dryer than usual for this time of year, and I guess I'm antsy for mushroom season to fully kick in. 
The Laetiporus Dahlia found was ideal, young and tender; the taste was delectable. The chicken of the woods is a great mushroom for people just getting into fungi; it is rather distinct looking with its bright orange/yellow flesh and presence of pores rather than gills. And even though Dahl doesn't like mushrooms, she loves finding them and helped me prep them for cooking.
These mushrooms were prime, so a quick saute in butter was all that was necessary.
I saved 3/4 of them for a creamy potato-laetiporus soup and used the rest in a delectable omelet.
Apparently, the Laetiporus complex has at least 6 recognized North American species. For more information, I recommend Michael Kuo's website: Mushroom Expert.Com. 
Research has also shown that laetiporus extract is effective as an anti-oxidant and strongly inhibits the growth of certain Gram-positive bacteria 
Chicken of the woods can be found on living and dead woods and fruit mainly during the late summer and early fall. They have a savory earthy flavor with a dense meaty texture.

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