Sep 23 2010
Chicken has been a theme this week.
Last Friday a flock of chickens displayed their wattles, this Friday a rooster will be on the blog and today the title mentions chickens. But where’s the bird in this picture?
There isn’t one. Chicken-of-the-woods is a mushroom.
Otherwise known as Sulphur Shelf (Laetiporus sulphureus) chicken-of-the-woods grows on dead trees. In many cases it’s edible — but not always. When it’s edible, people say it tastes like chicken. When it’s not, those who eat it are probably too sick to describe what it tastes like.
I found a huge patch of Chicken-of-the-Woods growing on the trunk of a fallen sycamore at Raccoon Creek Wildflower Reserve last Sunday. The patch was so huge it could have covered my desk. I didn’t remember its name but someone else certainly did and they knew it was good to eat. Two big chicken-sized chunks had been sliced off the back of it. Someone had Chicken-of-the-woods for dinner.
No way was I going to be that brave. I couldn’t identify the mushroom and I knew that even edible mushrooms are sometimes poisonous. Chuck Tague helped me identify it and sent me this picture.
You can learn more about this mushroom here. When you click, the author will warn you with a preliminary pop-up that you had better read the whole description before you try this “chicken” for dinner.
(photo by Chuck Tague)