I headed to the store today to deliver bread and met an amazing gentleman who considers himself a "naturalist". I am inclined to agree! He had been walking in the woods and produced two amazing wild mushrooms for us to enjoy. Now, he has done this for many years and I certainly wouldn't go out and harvest without any formal education on this subject but I did enjoy his expertise on the subject.
The first mushroom he shared is called "Chicken of the Wood". It is a thick creamy white tinged with orange, mushroom. My mentor said to soak in milk and roll in seasoned flour and fry. It tastes just like chicken, he said. It did! So delicious! The texture and taste are amazing. The few that were brave enough to try it could not believe it was a mushroom. Those people did not include my family, who decided to wait and see if I wake in the morning to try it!
Next to try was the "Hen of the Wood". This mushroom is supposed to have many cancer fighting properties and high in antioxidants. I chose to make a risotto from this one.I sauteed it with onions and butter until soft. I added the arborio rice until brown then added garlic and kale until wilted. To that I added chicken stock and simmered covered until thick and creamy. I then added salt. pepper and Parmesan cheese. Absolutely fantastic! After seeing I did not depart this world after consuming the first one, my family did partake in this dish and enjoyed it as well.