Smoked chicken of the woods

AuthorScott Pavelle
RatingDifficultyIntermediate

This is Scott’s favorite use of chicken mushrooms. It is the closest you’ll ever come to a true veggie bacon and has been described as “spot on” by chef Steve Eldridge of Pittsburgh's _Provision_ restaurant, a genuine master of the art. We use it as an ingredient in just about any dish where you’d otherwise like a hit of bacon. Pastas, salads, vegetables, sandwiches, you name it. The texture is like chicken that’s been very gently poached.

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Yields1 Serving
Prep Time5 minsCook Time35 minsTotal Time40 mins
 1 lb Fresh, soft chicken of the woods
 Salt
 wood chips or lumps for smoking
1

Bring a pot of water to the boil with enough salt that it tastes like the sea.

2

Parboil the mushrooms in the salted water for 20-30 seconds. This will simultaneously get rid of the spores and other schmutz while seasoning the mushrooms with salt. Remove and pat dry.

3

Hot smoke the parboiled mushrooms for 30 minutes. NOTE: We’ve done this in a smoker outside and in a jury-rigged stovetop smoker made from a covered pot with the mushrooms suspended on a screen above smoldering chips. Both worked just as well. Temperature doesn't seem to be a big deal so long as it is hot enough to cook the product and smoky enough to really season it.

4

Transfer the smoked mushrooms to a tray so they can cool and then taste for salt. You may note that they're a bit dry but you can ignore that. Season if/as required and then transfer to a zipper-top bag. Coat with just enough oil to barely cover all the packed mushrooms, drain out the air, and seal. NOTE: The oil adds in the moisture and unctuousness you were missing when you tasted for salt.

5

Store in the refrigerator for up to two months.

You really want to try this. It is 100% meat free without being "fake" in any way, but also serves the function of meat that is so hard to duplicate. Think pork & beans, cassoulet, jambalaya, and all those other pulse- and rice dishes that rely on a hit of meat to add depth and richness. These do that job admirably well. Smoke for the ground flavor; COTW for chew, and the enriched oil for mouthfeel. Please let me know of any refinements you come up with.

 

Ingredients

 1 lb Fresh, soft chicken of the woods
 Salt
 wood chips or lumps for smoking

Directions

1

Bring a pot of water to the boil with enough salt that it tastes like the sea.

2

Parboil the mushrooms in the salted water for 20-30 seconds. This will simultaneously get rid of the spores and other schmutz while seasoning the mushrooms with salt. Remove and pat dry.

3

Hot smoke the parboiled mushrooms for 30 minutes. NOTE: We’ve done this in a smoker outside and in a jury-rigged stovetop smoker made from a covered pot with the mushrooms suspended on a screen above smoldering chips. Both worked just as well. Temperature doesn't seem to be a big deal so long as it is hot enough to cook the product and smoky enough to really season it.

4

Transfer the smoked mushrooms to a tray so they can cool and then taste for salt. You may note that they're a bit dry but you can ignore that. Season if/as required and then transfer to a zipper-top bag. Coat with just enough oil to barely cover all the packed mushrooms, drain out the air, and seal. NOTE: The oil adds in the moisture and unctuousness you were missing when you tasted for salt.

5

Store in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Smoked chicken of the woods

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