This looked a great deal smaller from my bedroom, but i’m glad i got such a huge whole specimen for some reference, the apartment yard crew often runs these over before they get more than thumb sized. If anyone had preserving tips, let me know?
I tried a quick search but didn’t find much. Looks like most people dry or freeze, but that’s assuming consumption. Some also pickle. Did see a suggestion for a non-edible to try casting it in resin. It looks like museums used to just dry them, but now they work with DNA samples. There’s also the traditional denatured ethanol or diluted formaldehyde. Personally I’d take a ton of photos in the meantime – it may be difficult to preserve the stunning colors.
I have not had good luck preserving Cesar’s. I sauté and freeze. I view them as a a meal of opportunity and only take what I want to eat. I would love to know how other people preserve them. BTW I am not saying that’s a Cesar’s it just looks like one to me from the pic.
Possibly the biggest issue I have with chicken of the woods is preparation. It can get too dry, crumbly and often does not have a lot of taste. I use chicken of the woods for pizza (see previous posts), barbecue mushroom burgers, and stir fry. It can be good if kept moist, but is more or less just a substitute for chicken. However, in this dish chicken does not work real well, but chicken mushroom works fantastically. This is likely my favorite dish using chicken of the woods and overall one of the most none traditional mushroom dishes I make. In general it is just a vegetarian twist on apples onions and bacon, substituting mushroom for the bacon, but it works really well.
Ingredients (serves 2 or 3 as a side dish 1 as a main dish)
1 medium Apple – I use early apples right off the tree but Granny Smith work
1 medium onion
A little less then a ¼ cup of brown sugar
Maple seasoning rub – If you want to make this up go ahead, but I just buy it
2 tablespoons butter or oil – you a can put in way more but I like to keep it light on the fats
1 cup water
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 ½ to 2 cups chicken of the woods
Cut up the apple, onion, and mushrooms as shown. Get rid of any of the mushroom that is not tender or crumbles. It will not get tender it will be dry and disappointing.
Fry the apple an onion for 3 to 4 min. in a little butter
Add your mushroom, brow sugar, seasoning, and ½ cup of water. Boil down then add the other ½ cup and boil down. This will cook the mushroom thoroughly.
Now add the last of the butter and the cayenne pepper, fry a minute or so longer.
All of this takes about 20 min.
If the mushroom is not sweet and tender do not simmer off as much liquid next time or add more butter. This is not meant to be a fancy dish. I could add red wine, cinnamon and a dash of …… I don’t I like simple, quick, ways to cook mushrooms.
PS I show it with rice, but that is just because I wanted rice with lunch today.
Back home after traveling.
Went out today and picked some chicken of the woods. Also harvested wild elderberries, and marked a ton of black berries. I will come back for the blackberries tomorrow when I have long pants and gloves. I am thinking of making freezer jam, and syrup. Elderberry syrup is one of my all time favorite things. The syrup we make tastes nothing like what you buy in stores. It has a deeper berry flavor and is less sweet. Likely because the berries are wild and we use honey not corn syrup. I do us some sugar, but mostly honey. I will do a post on it next week. My daughter likes it too, so she always helps me process the berries. 😊