Everything Really Does Taste Like Chicken, Including This Mushroom

Chicken of the Woods mushrooms definitely don't look anything like the characteristic mushrooms you might find on grocery store shelves or sprinkled in your salad, but these bright, funky fungi are a perfect find for amateur mushroom foragers — and they really do taste just like chicken. Chicken of the Woods — Laetiporus sulphureus — are a safe and yummy way to get a hefty dose of protein and vitamins without sacrificing the taste of meat. Chicken of the Woods mushrooms have a bracket-like shape with a wavy curved edge that's typically lighter in color. The mushrooms form in layers, lacking the characteristic thin lines on the underside of many mushrooms. They have tiny round pores instead. Their massive size helps make them easier to spot. The brackets can measure 2 to 20 inches across, and the clusters can weigh up to 100 pounds. Oak trees tend to be their preferred choice of grub, but they also make other hardwoods their home. There’s one must-do when it comes to eating Chicken of the Woods mushrooms: You’ve got to cook them. Eating them raw, while not deadly, will likely upset your stomach and bring some uncomfortable consequences. Most people find that they not only taste like chicken, but also have the same soft, juicy texture. With a little care, you can turn your next hike into a healthy, meat-like meal, without spending a dime.