Pollo del Bosque…


is what happens to Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) when my wife makes a burrito bowl from my harvest. Great flavor, easily identified, and prolific when found, more info can be found here:   http://www.mushroomexpert.com/laetiporus_sulphureus.html

In my opinion, it is all about risk vs. reward when it comes to mushrooms. In the calorie department, mushrooms don’t have a lot to offer, weighing in at around 20 kcal per cup. That same cup will offer some protein and vitamins/minerals.

The risk? If you misidentify a mushroom, it could be fatal. Your best plan of action is to take a class, get some good field guides, and make friends with some experienced mushroom hunters/experts. 

Risk = possible poisoning/death   vs.    Reward = A handful of calories, some nutrients, and a whole lot of taste

In a hypothetical survival situation, I would only eat mushrooms that I regularly dined upon. Dehydration, lack of sleep, and hunger could lead to poor decision making, so play it safe, study them now or don’t even go down that path.

Fortunately, there are a half dozen or so that are relatively unmistakable, Chicken of the Woods (Laetiporus sulphureus) being one of them.


1. Clusters of overlapping, orange shelves with a yellow rim.  On older, stiffer mushrooms I have cut off only the flexible yellow rim. Yellow underneath (note pic).

2. Grows on trees, not on the ground. There is no stem and the shelf attaches directly to the wood.

3. No gills. It is in the Polypore family, so technically it has tons of tiny holes in the bottom, but you can’t see them without a magnifying glass.


A long time ago, in a far off camp, a good friend and I dined on this mushroom and relished it’s flavor. For me, this mushroom reminds me of simpler times that beckon my return.

3 thoughts on “Pollo del Bosque…

  1. theflyingmammal

    Ahhh yes, one of the easy three fungi. Up here in the north woods (Minnesota) I’ve found a patch or two that I’ve been “pruning” for a few months starting before I was detached from my job for political differences–or was it a lack of appropriations… Regardless, the name says it all. And you guys are correct, fajitas do quite well stuffed with polypore! It’s all but gone now, our seasons are in mid change.

    Do you have “Hen of the Woods” in the Southern Apps? I don’t recall it when I was in those parts but it’s a little less desirable it seems and just a tad harder to ID. I’m guessing it’s there someplace. It’s another polypore sulfur shelf fungus. You know, one that lets you and your love ones know if you ate too much – later in the evening!

    1. bigpigoutdoors Post author

      I know it is around here, I just haven’t found a patch yet. My old hunting buddy is living in Minnesota now and said that he has been seeing a lot of Chicken of the Woods up there.

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