How can I store stored chicken of the woods?

Last year I tried dehydrating but it really doesn't bounce back too well. Could these be sauteed and then frozen for later use in sauces? They only come around once a year so I don't want to screw them up this time.

chicken of the woods

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    No first-hand experience with COW (but 20+ years of mushroom picking & cooking), hence as comment: According to my sources and personal experience with other mushrooms, freezing sautéed COW appears to be the best choice. COW needs sufficient cooking time to destroy components that cause indigestion in some people, yet get tough when cooked too long. So being stuck between a rock and a hard place, freezing seems better than pickling. And: not too many mushrooms dehydrate well, boletes & relatives and morels do, and as these are quite well-known, many people try drying all mushrooms.
    – Stephie
    Commented Aug 23, 2015 at 16:27
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    Off topic, but those are some damn good-looking mushrooms. Commented Sep 23, 2015 at 19:09
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    @Stephie, I think your comment is enough to constitute a good answer.
    – feuGene
    Commented Mar 4, 2016 at 14:07

3 Answers 3


As a mushroom variety that is associated with allergic reactions to some, I don't think it is advisable to dehydrate it. This would only serve to increase the concentration of toxins that likely cause the allergies in the first place. As Stephie mentions in her comment the safest solution would be to pick and sauté only fresh young brackets, then separate and freeze them in portions as needed.

As a side note, most of the brackets you have there are quite large and mature. If you haven't eaten this particular mushroom before or are not sure of its origin, I wouldn't recommend eating them as they may cause the allergic reaction I mentioned or even vomiting and diarrhoea.

As another side note, try sautéing the fresh ones with butter a hint of Chardonnay and some teriyaki sauce.


You should freeze it. Sauté your mushroom in small chunks, (I would do it with onions and olive oil, but you don't have to), let it cool, and then put it in the freezer in an ice cube tray. Once it's fully frozen, pop the cubes out of the ice cube tray and put them in a plastic bag in the freezer. Whenever you want some chicken-of-the-woods, you can just take out some cubes and add it to a soup.


Sheephead (or Hen of the woods) have done well..... I clean and then coat in a seasoned flour mix. Lay out on baking sheet and freeze. Then put in freezer bag. When ready to use, heat oil in pan, take from freezer and put straight into hot oil. (Do NOT THAW FIRST) They cook and crisp up, and taste like you just picked them. I will do my COW the same way. Cut in strips and fried taste just like chicken fingers. Enjoy enter image description here

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