One of the most sought discussions in the culinary world is the conflict between Chicken of the Woods vs Hen of the Woods: which tastes more like chicken meat?
Hence, if you desire to get into the cooking ideas and some poisonous-look alikes of these Mushrooms for a safe harvest, follow the article!
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Chicken Of The Woods Vs Hen Of The Woods [Key Facts & Overview]
Among the edible Mushrooms, Chicken of the Woods and Hen of the Woods have the most brilliant taste.
Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) and Hen of the Woods (Grifola frondosa) belong to the fungal family Polyporaceae.
Furthermore, these macrofungi have almost the same growing conditions but are easily distinguishable based on their fruiting bodies.
So, let’s look at their features from the table below.
|Features||Chicken of the Woods||Hen of the Woods|
|Size||Cluster Width: 2-36 inches in diameter||Cluster Width: 27-36 inches in diameter|
|Habit & Habitat||Saprophytic or Symbiotic with overlapping caps|
Found growing on dead or decaying tree logs
|Saprophytic with overlapping caps
Found growing on the base of old trees (Maples or Oaks)
|Cap||Muddy brown to black or creamy brown with wavy margins||Bright orange to golden-yellow caps with wavy margins|
|Stipe/ Stem||Only used for attaching to the host tree (short & inconspicuous)||Only used for attaching to the host tree (short & inconspicuous)|
|Gills||Lacking but has pores||Lacking but has pores|
Edibility & Flavor [Chicken Of The Woods Vs Hen Of The Woods]
Chicken of the Woods and Hen of The Woods are popular restaurant choices in numerous culinary dishes.
Yet Chicken of the Woods have a taste and texture similar to that of lemony chicken meat with mild tones of crab or lobster flesh.
But, Hen of the Woods have a nutty, earthy fungi-like taste with a modest spicy flavor.
Also, these Mushrooms have a chewy texture, and people use them as a substitute for pork, steaks, and barbecue dishes.
Additionally, people use Chicken of the Woods and Hen of the Woods in stews or directly grill, stir fry with other vegetables or sautee them.
The best time to harvest Chicken of the Woods and Hen of the Woods is when they are young and tender.
So, you can collect Chicken Mushrooms in early spring and pick Hen Mushrooms from late summer to early fall.
Medicinal Properties of Chicken & Hen of The Woods
People consume Chicken and Hen of the Woods for a healthy life-style as they are jam-packed with nutrients.
Some of the wondrous medicinal benefits of both these Mushrooms are as follows.
- Chicken and Hen of the Woods have antioxidant powers, protecting your body from free radicals.
- Hen of the Woods contains beta-glucans which boost your immune system.
- Likewise, both Hen and Chicken of the Woods have anti-inflammatory powers.
- Further, both these Mushrooms control blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
- Some lab studies have also proven the anti-cancer abilities of these Mushrooms.
From Editorial Team
Although there are no poisonous-look alikes of Hen of the Woods, you must never consume them raw.
However, Chicken of the Woods has poisonous imposters such as Jack-o’-Lantern, False Turkey Tail, and Velvet-Top Fungus.