These hashbrowns are the perfect way to use up your Chicken of the Woods mushrooms after a big mushroom hunting trip in the woods! This vegetarian and vegan friendly recipe is good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Don’t be confused! I’m not calling ‘chicken’ vegetarian or vegan – There’s no Chicken in this dish, instead this delicious Chicken of the Woods Mushroom Hashbrowns gets it’s meaty chicken flavor and texture from one of my favorite wild edible mushrooms!
According to Wikipedia:
Laetiporus is a genus of edible mushrooms found throughout much of the world. Some species, especially Laetiporus sulphureus, are commonly known as sulphur shelf, chicken of the woods, the chicken mushroom, or the chicken fungus because many think they taste like chicken. The name “chicken of the woods” is not to be confused with the edible polypore, Maitake (Grifola frondosa) known as “hen of the woods”, or with Lyophyllum decastes, known as the “fried chicken mushroom”.
Individual “shelves” range from 5–25 cm (2″-10″ inches) across. These shelves are made up of many tiny tubular filaments (hyphae). The mushroom grows in large brackets – some have been found that weigh over 45 kg (100 pounds). It is most commonly found on wounds (butt rot) of hardwood trees, mostly oak trees, though it is also frequently found on eucalyptus, yew, sweet chestnut, and willow, as well as conifers in some species. Laetiporus species produce brown rot in the host on which they grow.
Young fruiting bodies are characterized by a moist, rubbery, sulphur-yellow to orange body sometimes with bright orange tips. Older brackets become pale and brittle almost chalk like, mildly pungent, and are often dotted with beetle or slug/woodlouse holes. Similar species include Laetiporus gilbertsonii (fluorescent pink, more amorphous) and L. coniferica (common in the western United States, especially on red fir trees). Edibility traits for the different species have not been well documented, although all are generally considered edible with caution.
The sulphur shelf mushroom sometimes comes back year after year when the weather suits its sporulation preferences. From late spring to early autumn, the sulphur shelf thrives.
Here in soutwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, we most often find laetiporus cincinnatus; which have a cream or white pore surface (aka white pores) and/or Laetiporus sulphureus, which have a yellow-orange or yellow pores surface. They both taste the same and grow in similar locations. Unless you are a mycologist, knowing the difference amongst the laetiporus genus isn’t valuable for those of us whom study mushrooms for edibility alone.
Not long after the early spring Morel Mushroom and Ramps, with sufficient rain, the next mushrooms we forage for are Chicken Mushroom. I become positively giddy with excitement when we find a beautiful Chicken Mushroom simply because I love this Chicken Mushroom Hash Brown recipe so very much, infact everyone who’s tried it over the years agrees that it’s delicious!
With all this recent rain, I anticipate finding some of these beautiful and delicious fungi soon!
Chicken Mushrooms are one of the best beginner mushrooms, because they are very easy to find and identify, plus there aren’t any look-a-likes that will make you sick. Oh and they taste like tender, juicy chicken breast! You only want to eat the tender parts of the mushroom, when young it will be most of the ‘leaf’ as they get older it’s just the outer edge.
Here’s some photos of the clusters of Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms (aka Chicken Mushrooms) that we’ve harvested over the years:
Many times, during ideal growing conditions, you can find more chicken mushrooms than you can eat. Whole dead trees & tree trunks will be covered with them. The host tree may reproduce for multiple years from June through November, weather permitting throughout eastern North America (and parts of Europe)
How to Clean Chicken Mushrooms
Once you’ve found beautiful tender chicken of the woods mushrooms (laetiporus cincinnatus and/or Laetiporus sulphureus) you want to make sure it’s moist and tender to touch. It should have a suede-like feeling to it’s flesh. You don’t want a dry or brittle mushroom and you don’t want to harvest any mushroom that is infested with bugs, insects or worms. The cleaner and fresher the specimen, the better they will taste.
And the easier they will be to clean!
To clean CHicken of the woods mushrooms, I suggest using a salad spinner for the best results. Trim away the outer-edge that is the most tender, discarding any thick or wood like center parts. Briefly since the tender pieces in water to remove any debris, then strain and spin to remove as much water as possible.
Here’s a few photos I took with my phone today, so that you can see how I trim and clean chicken mushrooms.
In addition to this Chicken Mushroom Hashbrowns, we also enjoy them simply sauteed in butter or cut into chunks/strips and breaded & fried for my Vegetarian Chicken Nuggets
If you like this Chicken of the Woods Mushroom Recipe, try these summer wild mushroom recipes next:
- Cheese Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Chanterelle Mushrooms
- Wild Mushroom Paella with Chanterelles and Black Trumpet Mushrooms
- Pressure Cooker Wild Mushroom Broth
- Chanterelle Mushroom Chowder with Crab & Corn
- Chanterelle Mushroom Fondue
This recipe was originally shared in 2016 and updated in 2022.
Hashbrowns with Chicken of the Woods Mushroom
- 4 medium/large potatoes peeled
- 1/4 cup Butter (or ghee) or avocado oil, if vegan
- 1 large Onion thinly sliced
- 1 rib celery thinly sliced
- 1 medium carrot peeled & grated
- 3-4 cups chicken of the woods mushroom cleaned, tender edges only, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons cooking sherry or dry white wine
- 1/4 cup fresh parsely, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Fresh Chives, chopped
- 1/2 lemon lemon, zested
- – Sea Salt
- – Black Pepper
- Boil potatoes in salted water for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain cool and thickly slice.
- In a large skillet over medium/high heat, saute onions, celery and carrot in butter.
- Add the chicken mushrooms and sprinkle with sherry, reduce heat to a simmer for 2-3 minutes. Allowing the mushroom to cook and liquid to evaporate.
- Add potatoes, herbs, lemon zest and season to taste. Increase heat and fry until crispy brown.