Chicken Of The Woods: A Mushroom That Tastes Like Chicken
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Have you ever come across large fungi with slightly grooved edges that come in colours ranging from pale yellow to orange? If so, you may have stumbled upon the unique and curious-sounding "chicken of the woods" mushroom. Chicken of the Woods can be found in sizes ranging from medium to large, and they have a distinctive appearance. They are typically available from late spring to fall in most areas. Despite being considered a delicacy, Laetiporus, or chicken of the woods, is viewed as a pest in some parts of the world, including Germany and parts of the United States. This is because it can cause brown rot, a type of tree decay. Historically, this fungus has been known to cause damage to the wooden ships of the British Naval Fleet.

If you're looking to become more acquainted with Chicken of the Woods, the best way to do so is by incorporating them into recipes that typically call for other types of mushrooms. These versatile fungi can be used in pasta dishes, creamy risottos, veggie sandwiches on fresh bread, your next soup, or a luxurious sauce. Chicken of the Woods can give a unique twist to all of these dishes. So, pick some up and start cooking!

Where Does It Grow?

The "chicken of the woods" species is widespread around the globe. The majority of them are easily identified by their bright orange caps, shelf-like growth, and absence of gills. North America is home to seven different species of this mushroom.

Flavour Profile

Those who have tried cooked chicken of the woods describe it as "succulent" with a mild flavour. This mushroom is worth trying due to its meaty flavour and texture. Upon first taste, its flavour may seem oddly familiar, resembling that of chicken, crab, or lobster. The mushroom is also rich in protein, containing approximately 14 grams per 100 grams, which is similar to quinoa. Its sinewy texture is also reminiscent of soft, juicy, and tender chicken meat. When fully cooked, it can serve as an excellent substitute for chicken, making it a valuable addition to any vegetarian diet.

Is It Edible?

The chicken of the woods is edible and delectable. However, you should never consume this mushroom raw because it can cause digestive problems. It is best to thoroughly cook the mushroom before eating it. Any stomach pain after eating cooked chicken of the woods could be caused by an allergic reaction or by consuming contaminated or undercooked mushrooms.

Because it is low in fat and high in protein, chicken of the woods is ideal for those looking to maintain a healthy diet. It also has fibre and a variety of vitamins and minerals. The fungus is also high in fibre and rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, potassium, and calcium.