Copyright 2015 by M. D. Vaden
If you hike or drive through the coast redwoods and spot one or more clusters of bright orange on logs or trunks, good chance its the mushroom known as Sulphur Shelf or Chicken of the Woods. You may see it somewhere in any of the far northern old growth redwood parks. The genus is Laetiporus.
There are several species. One is
Laetiporus sulphureus, which seems to be more tightly clustered than the example shown in the image below.
These are edible mushrooms, but harvesting from the redwood parks is frowned upon or prohibited. These grow elsewhere up and down the Pacific Coast. They may be one of the most colorful life forms in the forest. It can be found spring through autumn when conditions are right. The flavor is often described like chicken. Search for a recipe if you are interested. I just read one for "Southern Fried Chicken of the Woods" that I want to try.
One recipe of many:
2 large chicken of the woods mushrooms
---- 1/4 c En-Er-G Egg Replacer
---- 1/2 c water
---- 3 tbs siracha/hot sauce
---- 1 c self-rising flour
---- 1 tsp salt
---- 1 tsp pepper
---- vegetable oil for frying
Thoroughly wash and clean the mushrooms and cut into desired size.
Whisk together egg replacer and water in bowl until foamy thick. Add siracha/hot sauce.
In a pie pan or baking dish, mix self-rising flour, salt, and pepper.
Warm at least 3 inches of vegetable oil in a pot.
Dredge mushrooms in egg replacer mixture and then in flour, thoroughly coating each .
Fry two or three pieces at a time being sure not to crowd because that will lower the temperature of the oil.
Once golden brown, place on paper towels to drain oil.
Image: Mushroom Chicken of the Woods, Jedediah Smith Redwoods. May be