Friday, December 9, 2011

Chicken Mushroom Recipe - Chicken Mushroom Satay

Chicken mushroom (Laetiporus sulphureus) is a wonderful mushroom to forage for a few reasons. One is the taste: very meaty, substantial, and similar to chicken. Another is the amount found, usually quite a bit for a single specimen of wild food. It dries and freezes well, and is a fall favorite of ours. Chicken mushroom is fairly common in our area of southern New England on dead or dying hardwoods like oak. It looks like several yellow and orange shelves stacked on top of each other on the trunk of a tree. The underside has tiny holes, or pores, not gills. Fresh specimens are heavy and wet, almost dripping with moisture. It produces a white spore print, and has a few look-alikes, but not poisonous ones. You may mistake a Berkley's Polypore (Bondarzewia berkleyi) or another variety of sulfur shelf depending on your geographical location for this species of mushroom. Older, undesirable specimens are faded yellow, dry, and tough, not worth picking. One last advantage of chicken mushrooms as a wild edible food is that they will often grow again in the same tree for several years, so it is good to remember where you saw one, even if it was too old to harvest. Here are more identification points for chicken mushrooms.

Here we marinate and skewer the chunks of mushroom in a nut-based satay sauce, and cook it under the broiler. If you have a grill it might taste even better. This recipe, like many of our recipes, is vegetarian, but can be made vegan by substituting agave nectar for the honey. I served it over a bed of brown rice and lentil pilaf to soak up any extra satay sauce.

Chicken Mushroom Satay                                          serves 6-8

14 oz. fresh chicken mushroom, cut into 1" chunks
Satay sauce:
1/2 c. almonds
3 T pine nuts
1/4 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp orange zest
3 T orange juice
2 T olive oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp honey or agave syrup
1 1/2 c. boiling vegetable broth
1 tsp. salt
1/4 c. bread crumbs
1 tsp. sambal chili paste

1. Soak bamboo skewers in water.
2. Cut the chicken mushroom into 1" chunks and blanche them in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool.
3. For the satay marinade, chop the almonds and pine nuts in a food processor. Add the onion and garlic and process until smooth.
4. Slowly add the remaining ingredients, and blend until smooth.
5. Pour the marinade over the mushroom chunks and allow them to marinate for 3-6 hours in the refrigerator.
6. Thread the mushroom chunks onto the bamboo skewers, leaving a bit of space between each piece, about 6 per skewer. Heat the oven to 450°F and spray a rack with non-stick spray.
7. Bake the mushroom skewers for 15 minutes, until firm, then broil them under high heat for 5 minutes until browned.  You could also cook them over medium heat on the grill, turning once. Serve over cooked grains.


i doser mp3 said...

so yummy....

Marie said...

You really find these in fall? I've only ever found them in summer...

Daniel Shackelford said...

I sure wish I had this recipe this summer. I consistently neglected a few flushes on my way to work, but had I had an inkling of the satay possibilities, I would have certainly stopped for the <5 minutes to harvest.

The 3 Foragers said...

Here in southern New England, Connecticut, sulphur shelf is an autumn mushroom, sometimes late summer. We look forward to finding them all year, and dream of the recipes can make IF we find them.