Does it really taste "just like chicken?" Probably not, but the Chicken of the Woods mushroom is nonetheless important from a culinary point of view. While some claim that it tastes "just like chicken," the comparison probably comes from its pleasantly firm and meaty texture. The vivid orange-yellow color of this unique fungus is unmistakable, as is its mild, pleasant flavor.
One of the few edible polypores or shelf mushrooms, the Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus), grows in overlapping masses, or clusters on logs and stumps of both hardwood and conifers.. When the mushroom is young, its thick flesh is uniformly solid and smooth, breaking into firm, but tender golden chunks.
The Chicken of the Woods mushroom loses little volume when cooked and its texture makes it an excellent substitute for meat in vegetarian dishes. Saute Chicken of the Woods in butter, add to a stir fry or roast with other wild mushrooms.
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