Photos of readers

September 29, 2019 • 2:45 pm

Send in your photos. I ask for two photos max, but am putting up three today from reader Tyler Nighswander, because he found an awesome edible (and reportedly delicious) mushroom, a “chicken of the woods” (Laetiporus sulphureus), and I wanted to see what the cooked product looked like (I have collected edible mushrooms for many years, though I see few in Chicago).

Tyler’s report:

Yesterday my friend, Nico (not pictured), and I found the chicken of the woods of a lifetime! Pristine condition – freshest and best you could get! Weighed 14.5 lbs!:

A photo of me to help with the perspective!

When I asked Tyler what he did with it, he reported back:

In all we collected around 25 lbs, if not more.  Sold 7.5 lbs for $75 ($10 per lb) to a local grocery store.  We kept the rest.  Not sure what Nico did with his share, but I will eat mine later today using this recipe:

I’ll report when it’s eaten.  But as most say when asked about the taste of chicken of the woods: It tastes just like chicken! (texture too!)
And so I asked Tyler to send a photo of the cooked mushroom:
Below is halfway through eating.  Yes, that’s shrooms, not chicken! And it tastes just like chicken (texture too)! I was dipping them in a Carolina BBQ sauce.


24 thoughts on “Photos of readers

  1. Fantastic find! I made a modest haul of oysters last weekend and am meaning to be out on the hunt for more.

    Well done!

      1. Can’t say that I am. Does that surprise you? I can’t say I’ve ever known any mushroom foragers before, at least as far as I’m aware…

        Are you or have you ever been a member of a mushroom foraging party?

        1. Maybe a little. So many people around these parts are nature enthusiasts, and foraging seems to follow! I can’t say I’ve been part of a foraging party, per-se, but I certainly enjoy the occasional forage. Where I used to live, morels were the name of the game. Easy to spot, hard to misidentify, nothing like them that is poison. Now i’m in an area with much more edible fungi diversity, so I am a lot more cautious and careful. Did get a haul of oysters the other day though – and they were diving. I highly recommend it as a light hobby.

  2. That really looks good. Never seen those kind before. Have hunted and eaten lots of morel mushrooms. Cooking them is kind of tricky but I like them in a light egg / crumb breading and fried. Very good.

  3. I’ve never seen a chicken-of-the-woods before, though I’ve foraged for mushrooms quite a few times in my life. The picture of Tyler with his prize is good to see, also the cooked “chicken”. Thanks, Tyler!

  4. Color me jealous. I have lived in places with good mushroom hunting, but never anywhere where this grows, or will mature, even cultivated.

  5. I would be very nervous about eating anything that looked so…so…aposematic looking! I can only safely identify a few types, so I have to go out with someone who’s an expert. I guess I’m just “chicken”.

    1. Same here. I’d love to have a mushroom expert help me forage and identify. I’ve passed over fabulously large mushrooms growing in the lawn at my old house…. all because I was afraid of being poisoned.

  6. Magnificent fungi. I’ve never partaken of a chicken of the woods but am going to find one as soon as I’m done with the lion’s mane mushrooms that I just bought and are also new to my palate.

    Your surname is great, too.

  7. Yes, very! I know this because a friend and neighbor brought us half of a giant hen of the woods and it looks way more, well, feathery, which I guess is how it got its name. Flavor was more mild but it was still good. I used it along with an oyster mushroom we found the next day and some store-bought mushrooms to make mushroom stroganoff. Mushrooms are great fall finds.

    Also, terrific photo.

    1. Sorry, the “yes, very” was intended as a reply to comment 16 about the difference between hen and chicken of the woods. If I were feeling more clever I would make some comment about hens vs chickens but nothing comes to mind.

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