We Thought They Were Chickens, but They Were Hens!


We bought beautiful organic mushrooms from the Asian market. My husband was excited because they were called “Hen of the Woods” or “Maitake”. He thought he was buying the hard to find “Chicken Mushroom” and hence the confusion!

We brought them home to make an old recipe that my husband has been wanting to make for years “Fried Chicken Mushrooms”, a dish that utilized the technique of frying chicken and a buttermilk dressing to dip the fried mushrooms in.

Well, upon beginning to write this post, I decided to do a little research on the Maitake mushroom and sure enough they are easily confused with Chicken mushrooms. Well, it turns out that these mushrooms are really quite cool and have some promising medicinal value and we are just going ahead and making them in the fried chicken style anyway.

The basic recipe needed alot of doctoring. There was virtually no seasoning and the recipe for the buttermilk dressing didn’t call for enough sour cream.

To begin with, Shawn made the dressing. Sour Cream, Buttemilk and herbs from our garden and plenty of black pepper. Meanwhile, I cleaned the mushrooms and set them to rest in salt and pepper, buttermilk and a sprinkling of cajun style seasonings. The recipe called just for salt and pepper. We decided to let them soak a little bit in the buttermilk knowing we could drain it off and reuse the buttermilk. That’s one of the beautiful things about cooking with vegetables. There is no blood contamination. I think that seasoned buttermilk would go great in buttermilk biscuits.

Next step is to dip the mushroom pieces in seasoned flour and fry. We simply stirred together about 1/2 cup each flour and cornstarch and the rest of our seasoning mix. Each piece was allowed to drain before dipping in the flour. My god. The smell coming out that wok was almost enough to make a vegetarian swoon! It smelled exactly like chicken fried steak or something and the mushrooms resembled fried boneless chicken thigh meat.

As soon as one came out of the oil, we just had to sample it! The crust was incredible and the mushroom hot and tender inside the very crispy, seasoned crust. Dipped in the home made buttermilk/herb dressing, this humble fried mushroom was absolutely superb. I would love to see something like this on a bar menu as they hold their heat and crispy-ness really well.  What a great Saturday night snack with a movie.  I think a squeeze of lemon would be great on this.

Looks like the Broccoli Fritters have competition!

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3 Responses to “We Thought They Were Chickens, but They Were Hens!”

  1. Ashley Says:

    WOW!! Those look so so good. I’m gonna have to try this one. The pictures literally smell good!

  2. Helena Says:

    I don’t like mushrooms, the taste and the texture bother me. But I have to admit these look pretty good and I might just have to try this recipe!

    • lusciouslylocal Says:

      I’s important for you to try mushrooms in different ways until you can acquire a taste for them. They are so versatile in vegetarian cooking,a great meat substitute, and have wonderful immunity boosting powers. I recommend you try this one, because the mushroom flavor was really cloaked with the highly seasoned batter. I think that serving them with mashed potatoes and gravy, corn on the cob and salad would make an awesome Sunday dinner.
      muah!


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