Laetiporus sulphureus, also called sulphur shelf, sulphur polypore and chicken mushroom is a type of mushroom that grows on trees. This bracket fungus grows in the form of golden yellow layers on the trunks and branches of trees in North America and Europe. It may last for years, turning grayish as it ages. It is edible even when young, and is often included in preparations such as salads and rice dishes.
It is also called chicken, mushroom chicken polypore or chicken-of-the woods because people find its taste and texture resembling chicken when cooked. Others also relate its taste to lobster and crabs.
Chicken mushroom is most often cooked in a creamy sauce and served over toasted bread or rice. It is often used as a substitute for chicken in various recipes, due to the similarity in taste. The mushroom should never be eaten raw, as it may cause gastrointestinal distress.
Preferred Cooking Methods
The mushroom is best cooked by sautéing in butter. It may also be simmered into a creamy sauce. While young mushrooms are soft, the older ones are tougher and require longer cooking, and have a texture similar to chicken breasts when cooked. For dishes where it is substituted for chicken, it can first be sautéed in butter and herbs and some broth, increasing the heat to high at the final stage so as to sear its surface a bit.
Popular Laetiporus Sulphureus Recipes
- Chicken Mushroom Rice: This consists of boiled rice with a topping of a mixture of sautéed chicken mushrooms, onions, garlic, capers, flavoring herbs and seasonings.
- Laetiporus Salad: This can be prepared with lettuce, croutons and a salad dressing made of sautéed chicken mushrooms, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, flavoring herbs like rosemary and thyme and seasonings.
The Laetiporus Sulphureus mushroom is known to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, besides being low in calories, cholesterol-free, fat-free, low in sodium content and high in useful minerals.
However, some people may be allergic to these mushrooms. Gastrointestinal disturbances like upset stomach and vomiting or even fever have been reported in about 10% of the population consuming it.
A Laetiporus sulphureus mushroom weighing 100 pounds made it to the Guiness Book of World Records. It was found in New Forest in Hamshire, United Kingdom.
Related Article: Mushroom