Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Chicken of the Woods

Howdee all,

Look at this beautiful clump of orange delight!

We went hiking yesterday and happened upon this in the woods..a product of all the rain we have had.

I was hoping to find this on our walk..I knew where it had grown previous years.. and I was so pleased to find it..

Chicken of the woods.Beachwalkbluffpt and more_20090705_001Check out the photo below…Sicksta Charlene put her foot beside the specimen to give you an idea on the size of it. I didn't collect the whole mushroom..but left some to grow, I will check back in a few days.

Information from Mushroom Collecting.com

Chicken of the woods are most likely to be found from August through October or later but are sometimes found as early as June. This is a mushroom that is likely to startle you. It is very noticeable from long distance because of it's size and very bright colors. It grows on many types of dead or mature trees with hardwoods such as oak, or beech being more likely than conifers. They grow very fast. Usually when you find it there will be a lot. "Geez, what am I going to do with all this?" Younger specimens can have a large amount of clear watery juice pour out of the fruit body and the wood immediately after cutting. It can run almost like a faucet. Really. That's a good sign it will be a choice edible.

Beachwalkbluffpt and more_20090705_005

You want to pick Chicken of the woods mushroom when they are new and tender..(not woody feeling)..you want soft and moist.

Comments A few people have sensitivity to this one so if it is your first time just try a small amount. Chickens found growing on conifers should be treated with more caution and are best avoided. Not everyone likes the texture. Nothing else looks like it.

Chickens can be used for dyeing wool, some fabrics, or paper and will yield an orange color with wool when ammonia is used as a mordant.

I didn't cut the mushroom to sauté it..I just tore it apart in strips.

Beachwalkbluffpt and more_20090705_023Saute with Garlic and butter or olive oilBeachwalkbluffpt and more_20090705_028And you have a great treat. If I have many..I freeze a few bags to use later.

Otherwise I eat them as is or add them to just about any dish.

They were Delicious!IMG_1844As always..know what you are picking.

For more notes on nature check out..

nature notes.



  1. I've been on the lookout for this, but haven't found any. I'm looking forward to trying it.

  2. That is truly, truly fascinating!

    "As always...know what you are picking"? LOL! Knowing what I'm doing is not my usual state of mind but surely I'd recognize one with your sister's foot next to it. Is 'shrooming something you learned as a child?

    Eat hearty, Girlfriend! I'll enjoy it vicariously. It DOES look tasty!

    Oh--the city uses mushrooms as a first indicator of tree damage here. The dying old oaks usually have mushrooms around their base. We've had a number of them fall. (That's the city "we", not the Lee "we." If I see a mushroom in our yard, I worry.

  3. Well that looked very huge and very yummy. Do they make your tongue turn orange?

  4. Cool!!! I've don't know much about gathering mushrooms, but I certainly love to cook and eat them. I'll be on the lookout. If I ever see this formation, I'll know! :-)

  5. Such a pretty fungus! One year I saw a crop of it in Donaldson Park (down the street from my house) on a fallen tree. But I don't favor eating mushrooms so I didn't pick it.

  6. Wow this was great information... Thanks We hike a lot so I will be keeping an eye out for these... Have a super day.


  7. My mouth is watering. I love Chicken in the Woods and that one was huge. Glad you got to it in time for some fresh and juicy. Used to gather them in the NW. But not seen in AZ. Nice captures.

  8. tee he I'd be chicken to try chicken in the woods..
    I'm not a mushroom lover..but it looks appealing in your last photo!!

  9. Wow. Okay, so I am scared and excited at the same time. It looks deliciously scary. What does it taste like? Wood ear?

  10. Wow, I've never seen anything like those before. What do they tastes like? Like other mushrooms?

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  12. Beautiful shots. I love all different kinds of mushrooms but would be afraid to pick my own.

  13. Patrick Belardo
    Hope you find it..its delicious!

    I learned about mushrooms via..festivals, walks, lectured and friends that are mycologists..there are some I know quite well and those are the only ones I pick.
    I dont know about mushrooms and trees dying..I do know that some grown on dead trees.and others just like growning near certain tress but dont harm them.

    Tes sicksta..my tongue is now orange and moldy.

    good luck finding the mushroom..it also grows shelf like on dying or dead wood..but the orange and yellow color is unmistakable.

    This is one gorgeous mushroom and it was kinda sad to disturb its beauty..that bothered me for a few minutes..i enjoyed its beauty than cut away..I actually left quite allot..it was huge.

    thanks..nice to see you back..let me know if you find one..send me a photo.

    Just think lobster..the cooked chunks looked allot like lobster meat.
    But if you dont like mushrooms you wont like the taste.

    It taste like a meaty mushroom..very delicous..and not scary if you know what to pick.

    They are a wonderful meaty mushroom that taste like mushroom..tee hee

    Yeah i was at first as well..but many walks,talks,forays later..I am quite comfortable picking this mushroom.

    Tee hee..my family are brave too..they all tried it...one hour after I did..LOL

  14. Meaty sort of like a portobella? I was thinking it surely tasted like... uh... chicken? :c)

  15. I had a taste and my tongue is still it's nice normal purple color..

  16. Jayne
    Its kind of like tofu..takes on flavor of what u cook it with..it is meaty in texture.

    your tongue is purple??? cool!

  17. Oh wow, I'm such a chicken with mushrooms :)
    I wish I had someone show me around for at least one season.
    But thanks for the lesson. I haven't seen them around here, but maybe I will one of these days.
    They look more than delicious!

  18. Hi Dawn..I had to fix the link to your blog from Nature Notes..but it is fine now. What an interesting post. I just started taking photos of fungi and trying to ID them last summer. I have never seen this kind before...Great post...Michelle

  19. NicoleB
    They are soo yummy! I will go back and see if I can harvest a few more from the same clump.

    Rambling Woods
    Oh sorry..what did I do wrong..wrong post? This is a very cool fungi..and very edible..
    thanks for fixing my link!

  20. I'd be hesitant to pick any mushroom that sprouted around here - and with all the rain we've had recently, there were choices! This looks very cool, though it probably doesn't grow around here - especially since I can now identify it! :-)

  21. My mother-in-law picks these and serves them up each spring/summer - they are one of my favorites!!


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