When Frywall inventor Yair Reiner found a magnificent chicken of the woods mushroom growing right in his Brooklyn back yard, we just had to fry it up for you. Fried chicken of the woods has the crunch and texture of fried chicken, with the mild aroma of mushroom and forest. Vegetarians will go crazy for it – if they can keep the carnivores away.
Chicken of the woods, of the Laetiporus genus, are fairly common and easy to recognize. But as with any wild mushroom, you should consult an expert to positively identify any specimen you plan to eat.
Wipe any dirt from the mushroom using a towel or brush. If you need to use water, do so sparingly. If the mushroom absorbs too much water, it will complicate the dredging and frying process.
Trim any dense, fibrous parts from the base of the mushroom. Cut the soft parts of the mushroom into pieces about the size of small chicken cutlets.
Dip the cutlets in the buttermilk until they're well coated, and place on a baking sheet.
Mix together the salt and spices, and sprinkle generously on both sides of the mushroom pieces. Dredge 5-6 pieces in the flour, pressing the flour firmly into the mushroom until it's completely covered.
In a 12" cast iron skillet, heat about 1/3 inch of oil to 325-350 degrees and place your Frywall into position. Using tongs, lower the dredged mushroom pieces into the oil. Flipping them after 3-4 minutes or when they're golden brown. Fry another 2-3 minutes on the flip side. Remove the cooked pieces to a wire rack.
Repeat the previous two steps until all the mushroom cutlets are done.
Garnish with herbs and serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce. For a full meal, accompany with mashed potatoes and creamed spinach.