Thursday, September 10, 2009

Chicken of the Woods and Porcini Soup

Last week I had purchased some Chanterelles and Sulfur Shelf aka Chicken of the Woods from Foraged and Found. The Chickens have the remarkable properties of being the right color, texture and flavor...of chicken. Seriously. I know everything tastes like chicken, but nothing tastes quite like chicken the way these do. Except maybe chicken.

Well after reading this post on Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, I felt inspired to try my hand at The Sexiest Soup Ever. Only instead of chanterelles I'd use my Chicken of the Woods.

Well, I only had around five ounces of the mushrooms. So I pulled a 2 oz packet of dried porcinis out of the cupboard and rehydrated them with some boiling water. Then drained, reserving the liquid, and chopped them up with the chicken of the woods. Into the saute pan they went. I pretty much followed the recipe Hank used, except I used mere chicken stock because alas I don't have a freezer full of pheasant or quail stock. Hell, I'm even fresh out of duck stock. Hmm maybe next week... I also subbed out some of the chicken stock with the porcini rehydrating water, which was super-mushroomy.

So here's the soup. I would definitely, definitely pass it through a sieve before serving. I don't have a chinois, just a normal strainer, so I bet that would make it even better. The texture was much improved after straining.

So how was it? An excellent cream of mushroom soup. Maybe not the sexiest soup ever. Honestly though, I think the porcinis overpowered things a bit. I could see how chanterelles would change the game. It did have a bit of a chicken background though, and the sauteed chicken of the woods on top for garnish was delicious. I picked up some more, and tonight I'll try them on the grill as "Chicken" Fajitas...


Hunter Angler Gardener Cook said...

Nice one! Good improvisation. Yeah, porcini are a prima donna and chicken of the woods is so meaty it isn't exactly right for this soup. If you try it with all porcini next time, use Kentucky bourbon as the alcohol, which, BTW, is one of the reasons this soup gets so sexy, IMHO. I have a thing for Armagnac...

Did you do the liaison with egg yolks and cream? That is another thing that sexes up this soup.

Good luck on the chanterelles this fall! Hope you find lots!

-- Hank

Russell Hews Everett said...

Hmmm I could see that working. I used some so-so VS cognac and it was ok, I think I used nearly twice what the recipe called for in order to balance the porcinis. I thought about using some really good rum I had too, but kept it classic.

I did do the liaison, it definitely makes the soup. I like to make avgolemono (quick and easy if you've got lemons around) so the careful addition of eggs to soup wasn't tricky. But man does it make it smooth and tasty.

We'll see. Hopefully the week of sun after the weekend of rain brought them all out. The ones we found Monday were mostly still pretty small. I'll have the post about that trip ready tomorrow or Saturday. Who knows, maybe well find some King Boletes tomorrow too...

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