Monthly Mushroom: Chicken of the Woods

Monthly Mushroom: Chicken of the Woods

Chicken of the Woods or Laetiporus sp. are orange polypore mushrooms that grow on living and dead trees as well as the roots. There are 2 different types of Chicken of the Woods that grow in the North East, and Mid Atlantic: L. suphureus which grows on trees, and L. cincinnatus which grow at the base of trees. The major differences between the 2 species is the pore color ( L.sulphureus has yellow pores, while L. cincinnatus white pores). The white-pored L. cincinnatus is easier on the stomach. L. sulphureous (and any other mushroom) should be tested in small amounts your first time eating it to make sure it agrees with your body.

As the weather gets warmer earlier each year, the COW season has extended and we are now finding them as soon as April-October in Pennsylvania and May-October in New York.

Chicken of the Woods looks like bright orange flubber with either a white or yellow pore surface.


Chicken Nuggets:

1lb Chicken of the Woods

1 Handful Shiitaki or Oyster mushroom

Coconut oil

1 Egg

1T Flaxseed

– In a vita-mix, food processor or blender, combine 2 big pieces of Chicken of the Woods, 1 handful of Shiitake or Oyster Mushroom and blend these into a nice ground mushroom situation.

– In a separate bowl, whisk up an egg, flaxseed, salt + pepper and any seasonings of your choice.

– In a medium bowl, heat up some refined coconut oil.

– Pat the “Chicken Meat” into small patties and place them into the oil.

– Serve them with a nice aioli, date or coconut sugar ketchup and enjoy!


Pickled Chicken:

1lb Chicken of the woods

3C water

1.5t Salt

2 Large cloves garlic

A few springs of garlic

Two dried bay leaves

1C champagne or white wine vinegar

In a stock pot, bring water, salt, garlic and herbs to a simmer. Add the chicken and cook until they have released their juice and cooked through (about 5 minutes). Add vinegar to the mixture, then pack pint canning jars full of their pickles. Pour the pickle liquid over the mushrooms and fill the jars leaving 1/2 an inch of headspace, then process the jars in a water-bath canner for 15 minutes.

– Adapted from: The Forage Chef 

Shredded Chicken:

1lb Chicken of the Woods

Oil or Butter of your choice (we like refined coconut oil)

Salt, pepper, thyme, oregano

In a cast iron skillet, dry roast your mushrooms until all of the water has evaporated. Next add in your oil and herbs and cook for around 7 minutes on medium low. Eat this alone or add it to any favorite dish! Pro-tip: Make some rice and steamed veggies and cover with teriyaki sauce for a yummy chicken teriyaki.


Chicken of the woods is an incredible antiviral/antimicrobial mushroom! This mushroom produces compounds effective against MRSA,  which is an antibiotic resistant strain of bacterium.



Amazing vegan meat replacement

Easy to find, good connection and intro mushroom for getting outside!


Cassandra Posey is the founder of Cognitive Function LLC, a company focused on applications of medicinal fungi and plants to further holistic living through comprehensive research and development. Cassandra holds a degree in Visual Arts and Communication, believing the best way to lead is through education. This principle maintained through brand integrity that puts transparency above all. As proprietor of a company that operates under a “People First” mentality, Cassandra is constantly innovating, elevating, and evolving Cognitive Function with our natural and social ecosystems in mind.

William Padilla-Brown was a contributing author for this piece and an editor for Fungi Magazine, the foremost Mycological periodical.

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