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Grilled Chicken of the Woods Sandwich


Grilled Chicken Of The Woods, swiss chard, chipotle mayo, red onion and Follow Your Heart American cheese between two fluffy, whole grain pillows. Crazy things you can do with mushrooms!

There’s something magical about finding your sandwich in the woods. I’ve always heard of the sandwich tree they grow along side of.

Chicken Of the Woods is also known by its fancy name, Laetiporus (I had to look that up). It’s a bright orangey-yellow shelf mushroom with a texture similar to chicken and a soft, lemony scent (as if you held a lemon a foot from your nose and breathed in deeply). Best eaten when young and delicate, it tends to get harder and grumpier with age, much like its captor, me! (Derek speaking.) Wow! And I just learned it’s a mushroom that literally will take the wind from its host tree’s sail. This is def one of those mushrooms you want to do your research on before eating, some more info HERE. Mushrooms are so interesting!

When I first moved to Oregon, I had only dabbled in playing with mushrooms and most of those were the usual suspects: buttons, shiitake, portobello and the occasional oyster. I had only dreamed about romping in the woods and hunting the only way I could … foraging. Now edible, wild and cultivated shroomz have become the center of my attention and have taken a good portion of my time on RnD since going full time with Wicked Healthy.

I look forward to getting out into the old growth forests of the Pacific Northwest as much as I can for my sanity and my newest concoctions. I’m no expert at any of this foraging stuff (maybe one day), but I aspire and hope to meet some Mycologists, like the famous Paul Stamets, to help me understand and identify these beasts a little more. I look forward to learning more about how to apply these meaty wonders of the world to our Wicked Healthy mission of creating sexy, sustainable alternatives to eating animals. I’ve been doing alright working in the kitchen but I have lots to learn and the patience of a flea, so until I can can learn more from the experts I’ll keep enjoying my trial and errors in the culinary sense.

I’ve had some really great revelations working with and cooking mushrooms as meat and, as much of a novice as I am, I do believe they are the best, all-natural alternative to meat. If I’m ever lucky enough to cook for you, I hope to show you how amaze-balls all mushrooms are … I believe the answer and best method is to cultivate and err on the side of compassion instead of killing! It’ll take redirecting some energies on peoples parts and realigning focus to cultivation, which is all possible! And I feel we’re just starting down that path. I am hopeful and will continue doing our part in showing these meaty magical mushrooms and how they can translate to our plates.

Here’s what I did with what we found on a recent forage. You’ll find the recipe at the end of this post, but first let me take you through a recent foraging trip I took with my friend, Brian.

Chicken of the Woods Burger

Chicken of the Woods Burger

 

There is something mystical in the forest. It reminds me of being on the ocean back in my lobster fishing days. Nothing but trees and wilderness around you and only the quiet softened rumblings of nature from time to time. Calming and earthy, I find peace in the seclusion of the woods and all it offers.

Portland Forest

 

There are so many types of mushrooms and when you come across one that you recognize, it’s exciting!

Portland Forest

 

Our friend Brian holding up the treasure chest we found.

Brian Holding Mushrooms

 

Today’s haul included Chanterelles, Lobster mushrooms and a good amount of Chicken of the Woods.

Today's Haul

Wicked Healthy Mushrooms

 

First things is first. Clean the mushrooms.

I know lots of folks say not to wet the mushrooms, but when they’re dirty enough I brush off what I can, remove all sticks and pine needles and, if needed, dunk ’em in the kitchen sink filled with water then lay ’em out on a towel or paper bags to dry for a few hours.

I’ve had much luck with the new patented Wicked Healthy press and cook method with other mushrooms like Maitake and oyster which you can see below:

 

 

So i’m applying the same techniques to the Chicken shroomz. Heat a cast iron on medium heat, add a bit of oil and seasonings. Then press to cook, flipping every couple minutes and finishing off in the oven with these babies. See the full recipe on how to prepare these Grilled Chicken of the Woods Sandwiches below!

Wicked Healthy Pressed Shroomz

 

Grilled Chicken of the Woods Sandwiches

Serves: 2

Ingredients:


2-3 good size Chicken of the Woods shrooms. (As big as a chicken breast would be)

3-4 T canola or grapeseed oil

1 T fresh thyme picked, chopped (or 1/2 TB dried)

3/4 t poultry seasoning

3/4 t garlic powder

1/2 t granulated onion

Jacobsen’s Sea Salt, couple pinches

Black pepper, couple pinches

 

Sandwich toppings:

Seeded whole wheat bun, quickly steamed then grilled (Dave’s Killer Bread/Buns)

Follow your Heart brand American cheese (non-dairy)

1/4 C shaved red onion, rinsed and chilled

Few leaves of Swiss Chard or Spinach

1/4 C Chipotle mayo (non-dairy)


Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.

When you are ready to make the shrooms, heat a heavy-duty or cast iron pan on medium heat. You’ll be adding 2 tablespoons of oil right before you place the mushrooms to begin cooking.

Follow our Wicked Healthy Pressing Technique:

Separately, on 1/2 sheet pan, lay out all mushrooms in whole clusters. Then add clusters one at a time to heated pan. Weigh down with an additional cast iron pan or heavier cover to create a press. Cook for 2 minutes like this initially, then flip over.

Evenly distribute the remaining oil on each shroom cluster after it’s been flipped and season lightly with dry seasonings then press down again.

Repeat this process several times until mushrooms are condensed and pressed into crispy golden brown steaks with minimal to no liquid in the pan, except for oil. The added oils provide the fat that will create a much more calorie-dense dish and mouth feel.

Once this is achieved, place sheet pan with the golden brown shrooms in oven and roast for additional 10 minutes. Then top the shrooms with the non-dairy cheese and bake another 5 minutes before assembling the sandwiches.

Quickly steam the buns in a steam basket (I tend to grill them in the same hot pan the mushrooms were cooked in until toasted on the bottoms, just a minute or two.)

Then build the sandwich the way you like. We’ve suggested some toppings but of course tailor it to your liking.

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