We met many a character in Trail the Heart, but probably none as memorable as Moonshine.
Fit as a gladiator, he was the trail clown and an expert in all things woodland. Moonshine kept Jordan on her toes, Adam searching for antacids, and the rest of us laughing.
Moonshine enjoyed tricking people into believing his mushrooms were magic. The ruse rarely worked, so I won’t try it here.
Today, we’re profiling one of his favorite wild mushroom recipes, Chicken of the Woods, a fungus that is easy to identify and delicious to eat.
Before we begin, remember:
While wild mushrooms are a favorite of many an outdoor adventure seeker, they can also be deadly ⚠️ so:
- Do your research! 🔎
- Read articles that include photos, such as these:
- Watch videos with descriptions of those fungi that are edible and those that are not.
- Find a local expert to take you on an excursion to see firsthand what the healthy options are.
Now for the fun part, bringing Moonshine’s Chicken of the Woods recipe to life.
First, locate and harvest the freshest Chicken of the Woods you can find.
(The window of opportunity is narrow.)
Leave at least half still attached to the rotting tree you found it on. This way, it has the chance to grow back the following year.
Second, scrub lightly with a gentle vegetable or mushroom brush, moistened slightly with water.
Dry with a paper towel and chop into bite-sized pieces.
Next, sauté for a minimum of 15 minutes...
(NEVER EAT RAW! You’ll get a terrible bellyache.)
Saute until soft with a tablespoon of olive oil or butter, your preferred amount of diced onion or garlic, a pinch of salt, and a dash of pepper.
Stir often. After cooking, add a tablespoon of sherry and let it rest for a minute, stirring a final time or two.
Finally, serve over a plate of buttered egg noodles and cooked peas.
I hope you enjoy hunting the safe foods found in the wild and making delicious meals for yourself!