Our next fall mushroom is the fried chicken mushroom (Lyophyllum decastes) which a lot of people mistake it for the Honey mushroom (Armillaria) Look them up so you know the difference even though Honeys are a good eats too. These are not Chicken of the Woods as those are candy corn colored and not at all like these but they are a great find too.
it is part of the Lyophyllaceae family of fungi. It can usually be found growing in dense clusters on disturbed soil like roadbeds, paths and landscaped areas. Occasionally it will be found in the woods. its season is fall through spring. It can also be found in other parts of Northern America in the summer and fall. We found ours on the side of an old logging road in the gravel/grassy area off the side. There were several clusters of honeys and fried chicken growing along the road.
Once you get them home and if you didn’t do a very good job cleaning them in the field I would put them in a large bowl of warm water and rub the dirt clean then use your kitchen faucet to rinse any other debris away.
To cook them slice them in half lengthwise and fry them in butter, Garlic or not or onions or not with a splash of olive oil to keep the butter from burning. I would use a nice cast iron frying pan that is was very hot and smoking a bit before putting the oil in. when you add the mushrooms let them sit in the pan and sear until they are golden, then flip them and seared the other side. You can eat them right out of the pan or use them for breakfast with some scrambled eggs, they have a distinct flavor and with fooling you that they are meat.
When you go hunting for these be sure you have the right mushrooms as there are some bad one that is close to these some poison and some just make you really sick to your stomach. There is one more mushroom that will kill you that is close to these.
Here is just a quick one on that evil mushroom
The deadly Galerina mushroom!
Galerina autumnalis can be identified by its brown cap, with a relatively small fragile annulus (ring) on the stipe (stem). The lower part of the stipe is usually darker brown, sometimes with apparent floccules, or little tufts of hyphae. Above the annulus (the remnant of the partial veil), the stipe is usually lighter tan in color and lacks ornamentation. The gills are about the same color as the top of the stipe and darken with age. The mushrooms are usually not very big, with the caps only about an inch or two (2-5 cm) in diameter and the stipes are usually less than 2 inches (5 cm). The spore print is a rusty brown. Microscopically, the basidiospores typically have a plage, which looks to me like a slightly wrinkled plastic shrink-wrap covering over the distal end of the spore, but not the end where the spore attached to the basidium. You can often see the faint jagged line delimiting the end of the plage. Why am I telling you all these details of what this mushroom looks like? If you are planning on eating wild mushrooms, Galerina is a mushroom you must be able to identify by sight, since eating even just a little of it can be deadly.
Tom Volk’s Fungus of the Month for May 2003.