Today was my lucky day! Simply driving down the road past a local wooded, area in our neighborhood, my husband spotted a Chicken of the Woods Mushroom. This was a spectacular find!
We immediately pulled over to the side of the road, jumped out and started pulling the gigantic mushroom up at its root. The whole thing weighed about 6 lbs! After throwing it in an ice cooler when we arrived home, I got to work at creating a quick, easy and healthy stir-fry.
Chicken of the Woods Stir-Fry
1 lb mushroom Chicken of the woods, cleaned, chopped
2 TB Oil (I used olive oil)
1 cup rice
1/2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
5 oz. water chestnuts (optional)
frozen peaches (optional, can substitute mango or pineapple)
1 Tb sesame oil
1 Tb chopped ginger (1 tsp dried)
1 Tb minced garlic
2 TB chopped scallions
1 1/2 Tb cornstarch stirred into 1/3 cup water
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp mongolian fire oil (or any chili oil)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Prepping the Mushroom:
Cut off a portion of the mushrooms and slice into sections. Carefully wash each section under water. Examine each section of mushroom for decay or bugs. Discard any pieces with decay or dark spots.
In a large stock pot add the 2 TB oil. Place the mushroom into the hot oil and stir.
If it is getting too dry, add 1/4 water as needed. Cook mushroom for 15 minutes on med. heat, stirring occasionally. Turn mushroom down to low heat and let sit on stove, while rest is being prepared.
Place 2 1/2 cups of water in another pan, add 1 TB butter bring to a boil. Reduce heat and add 1 Cup Rice and 1/2 Cup frozen vegetables. cover and do not lift lid for 15-20 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork. If rice isn't as tender as you like, add 1-2 TB water over the top, cover and return to heat for 5 more minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the sesame oil, ginger, garlic, scallions, soy sauce, fire oil, and cilantro and stir. mix together the water and cornstarch until dissolved. Pour both mixtures over the mushrooms and saute. Add a few frozen peaches and the water chestnuts.
Sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labor!
Chicken of the Woods has no poisonous look-alikes. It is a common and widespread mushroom. The flesh is white with bright orange and pale yellow colors. It tastes very much like chicken without all the grease! It even has the the same texture as chicken, looking like muscle fibers as you slowly tear it.
To learn more: http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Mushrooms.Folder/ChickenMushroom.html
Mushrooms are nutritional superstars. According to a 2009 study in the international Journal of Cancer, eating as little as two mushrooms a day- even the everyday white button- could cut your risk of breast cancer by 64 Percent! Mushrooms are brimming with protein, B vitamins, selenium, potassium and has antibacterial properties to help the body fight foreign invaders.
Whether you find a chicken of the woods mushroom or go past the button mushrooms at your local store, think twice before you leave them behind. Mushrooms can add nutritional punch to your life!
Wishing you optimal health,
From DandelionHeart to Yours!