A while back Alex called me up and invited me over for dinner with a proposal I couldn’t refuse: “some guy gave me a bag of mushrooms he picked himself and I wanna cook them up.” After making sure they weren’t the kind of mushrooms that were going to send me on a crazy trip (or a trip to the bathroom..), I jetted on over, expecting some cute little button shroomies or maybe at best some shitakes.
When I arrived, however, I was delighted to discover that what Alex had in her brown paper bag of earthy treasures was chicken of the woods, a delicious mushroom that has a texture and flavor that many think tastes like chicken. It is supposedly relatively common in the woods in North America, but I had only stumbled across a sampling of it once before, while working at Health In A Hurry. Apparently Wild Man Steve Brill once found an enormous chicken of the woods mushroom in the woods at my mom and Tim’s farm, but I wasn’t around to get a piece of that action.
We made a quick stir-fry, which we served over fried quinoa, and it was heavenly. The sweet, meaty treats did indeed remind me of chicken, although that really doesn’t say much considering I haven’t eaten any chicken in years, which stunts my range of comparison. The shrooms were so good that Alex and I ooohed and ahhed until the neighbors upstairs started banging on the floor with a broom, assuming Alex was indulging in a different kind of sweet meat. No, that really didn’t happen, but if it did I would have been too excited about the damn mushrooms in my mouth to notice.