Apologies for the deadly silence of late, I've been caught in a frenzy of what-to-wear? brought on by those summer events that demand something shiny and new. Does it really take that long to pull together a few outfits for a couple of weddings and a festival you may very sensibly ask... Yes, if like me you are stricken with the indecisive gene. Plus, the weather hasn't been very forgiving recently so my summer frocks need buddying up with something more sensible for the foreseeable future. Anyway, crisis over, frocks found, and the world has been put to rights again.
Back when I still had free time, I was foraging again with the boy and struck gold - mushroom gold! Chicken of the woods is supposedly quite common in the UK but had previously eluded me. If you've not seen it before, it's a bracket fungus that grows off deciduous trees like oak in clustered plates, in the most incredible vibrant sulphur yellow that just shines out from the tree when you spot it. It is like finding treasure!
I'm afraid I was too eager to tuck into our bounty so totally forgot to take a good picture of it before we chopped it up, but you can see the brilliant colours and marbling in the first photo above. Beautiful.
Since it was our first time eating COTW we cooked it very simply, in butter with a little sea salt, until it was crispy at the edges and had turned an even deeper shade of orange. And oh. My. God. It was ridiculously delicious. I wasn't sure if the name would ring true, but it really does taste like chicken, in the sense that it's rich, deeply flavoured and firm textured. It's like the chicken that I remember from when I was little. Essence of chicken. Partnered with a poached egg and some pan fried wild garlic (foraged also, from the grounds of a Royal Palace no less!) and spinach, it made the perfect toast topping to start the day.