Vegan Butter Chicken Of The Woods

September 30, 2021
I felt so lucky last week when I was leaving work and I spotted a big bundle of chicken of the woods trailing up the tree right in front of me. I drive by this tree everyday and I hadn’t even noticed the fungus as it was progressively growing. Chicken of the woods is usually a rare find that you have to hunt for so I felt like the universe was giving me a gift by leaving them right out in the open for me. This is one of the most easily identifiable mushrooms due to its vibrant orange and yellow colors and the thick, dense layers that it grows in. I pulled my car over without hesitation and grabbed a few chunks to bring home to my kitchen.

This mushroom was given its name due to its similarity in both flavor and texture to chicken. Naturally, I decided to make a dish that generally calls for chicken, and just substituted it with this particular mushroom instead. Butter chicken is a popular Indian curry dish and with a few simple swaps, can easily be made vegan. The chicken of the woods worked wonderfully in this recipe and absorbed all of the flavors of the spices. You could try using another mushroom if that is what is available to you but it might yield a slightly different taste.
vegan butter chicken of the woods with rice on a white plate against a brown and black background

Vegan Butter Chicken Of The Woods

Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
utensils YIELDS 2 servings
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  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken of the woods, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream
  • fresh cilantro
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1. Add butter to a large pan over medium heat until melted.

2. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until  softened.

3. Season with the spices and stir well to coat. Let simmer for a minute.

4. Stir in the tomato paste and coconut milk. Simmer on low for about 15 minutes, to let the flavors infuse .

5. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Serve over rice.

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Photo: Lauren Sacerdote

Lauren is a homebody who likes to spend time with her cat, explore new ideas in the kitchen, relax in the sun with a good book, and promote healthy living to friends and family.


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