Yellow Chanterelle (Cantharellus cibarius)

One of the first mushrooms of the fall is the delicious Yellow Chanterelle. A week or two after the first heavy fall rain small little yellow buttons will start appearing throughout the forest. Since this time of year coincides with hunting season in Oregon it is best for anyone out in the forest picking mushrooms to be wearing bright colors so they are not mistaken for a deer. This has always been one of my personal favorite mushrooms to look for, and is one of the easiest to find. But with every mushroom unless you are 100% certain of what you are picking DO NOT EAT IT! Now for a little about this treasure of the forest.

Since I love using Wikipedia for info here is a little bit of history and uses for this tasty treat:

“Though records of chanterelles being eaten date back to the 1500’s, they first gained widespread recognition as a culinary delicacy with the spreading influence of French cuisine in the 1700’s, where they began appearing in palace kitchens. For many years, they remained notable for being served at the tables of nobility. Nowadays, the usage of chanterelles in the kitchen is common throughout Europe and North America. In 1836, the Swedish mycologist Elias Fries considered the chanterelle “as one of the most important and best edible mushrooms.”

Chanterelles as a group are generally described as being rich in flavor, with a distinctive taste and aroma difficult to characterize. Some species have a fruity odor, others a more woody, earthy fragrance, and others still can even be considered spicy. The golden chanterelle is perhaps the most sought-after and flavorful chanterelle, and many chefs consider it on the same short list of gourmet fungi as truffles and morels. It therefore tends to command a high price in both restaurants and specialty store.”

Over the years I have dried, canned, pickled, and sautéed chanterelles in as many recipes as I can. Other mushrooms might be stronger flavored or different tasting, but this one is the easiest to find in large quantities. There are always several small stands of mushroom buyers around that will pay by the pound for these if you want to put in the time to find large amounts. The only thing about selling them that I never liked is that there is a subspecies of chanterelle that are white that the buyers will never take. I can’t tell any difference in taste between the two so that means more for me to enjoy. On a successful day I have found 20+ lbs of yellow chanterelles with only a few hours of searching.

When picking a patch of chanterelles it is best to cut them off at the base with a sharp knife. Pulling them out of the ground can damage the fungal matt that is under the ground. By cutting them you can get several crops out of the same location until the first hard frost hits under the forest canopy. Also alway remember to leave a few mushrooms in a patch so that they can continue to reproduce and produce even more in the years ahead.

For more detailed information please check out this link to the full Wikipedia article.

Some of my favorite recipes:

Some great reference books:

All That the Rain Promises and More: A Hip Pocket Guide to Western Mushrooms by David Arora (smaller pocket guide that is excellent to use)

National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms (National Audubon Society Field Guides) (all inclusive but fairly large)

There are also several E-books that can be found on Kindle unlimited

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Crock pot chicken with Chanterelle stuffing

Since my Daughter is getting over being sick and my sister is in the hospital recovering from back surgery we decided to make something different for thanksgiving this year.  Last week we had found a couple of pounds of chanterelle while hiking through the wet forests.  Combining this with two of my favorite foods to make a tasty treat for three.


  • Whole chicken
  • 1 lb of chanterelle
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • salt and pepper

After cleaning fir needles off of the mushrooms we chopped them up into pieces and added the chopped cloves of garlic to the mix.  Then you take your mix and stuff it into the cavity of the chicken.  Salt and pepper to taste (I tend to put a lot of black pepper on my foods). Place into a crock pot and cook on high for five hours.  Remove from the crock pot and serve.  This is a great easy dish to make and it has great flavor.

Yellow footed Chanterelle (Craterellus tubaeformis)

yellow foot1

Shortly after the Golden Chanterelle is done appearing for the year this cooler weather species of Chanterelle will grace us with its presence.  This is one of a group of mushrooms that are know as a winter mushroom.    They have a similar look to chanterelles with their shape and the blunt edge gill like ridges that run partway down the stem. They seem to be half way between a chanterelle and a black trumpet with their semi hollow funnel-like shape.  The stems are hollow and there is a slight divot in the top of the cap.  As with any mushroom always make sure you are 100% of the identity.  Even with having correctly identified it always eat a small portion to make sure you do not have an adverse reaction to it.  I have mostly found them growing in large clumps on dead logs that are most of the way rotted.  If you find a good area of dead wood you will most likely find these growing from them.  I have been able to find them all the way into February, but a series of hard freezes will stop them from growing until the next year

These have a really nice aroma that is almost identical the golden chanterelle. The smell when drying is outstanding. They can be sautéed for truly great flavor but are not nearly as good when deep fried. They are often best plain or in ways that showcase their subtle flavor. They rehydrate much better than a chanterelle, and make a nice mushroom powder that is outstanding for flavoring alfredo, and béchamel based sauces. Since the flavor is subtle it can easily be overpowered with other flavors. A cantharellus/craterellus mix is nice. Chicken, pork or fish, rice, pasta, some vegetables, some cheeses and soups are good choices for recipes using these. I tend to use dehydrate most of these when I find them.  They are great fresh but it is nice to be able to them to flavor other meals when you can’t make it to the woods to get more.

Some links to more information


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Sauteed Chanterelles

Today’s mushroom hunt may not have been very successful, but if it had been this is what I would have done with them. Hopefully with the heavy rain in the forecast over for the next couple days it will make next weekend a tastier trip to the forest.


1 lb assorted chanterelles cleaned and sliced up

3 garlic cloves peeled

1 shallot

2 tablespoons of olive oil (butter works great also)

1/4 cup white wine (only use a wine you would drink not table wine)

Heat your pan to medium-high and add in the olive oil. Dice up the garlic and shallots then add to the pan. Cook until the shallots start to change color. Usually just a couple minutes is all you need. Next add in your mushrooms and stir fry until the mushrooms start to give off their water. This will take 3-5 minutes depending on the heat. At this point turn up the heat and add in the wine and cook for an addition 2 minutes. Now you are done and can eat them plain or use them to top a burger or a nice juicy steak. Enjoy!

Wild Mushroom Soup

With the fall rains upon us it is time for a wild mushroom bonanza for those people brave enough to go out into the very wet forests of the Pacific Northwest. Since I am a very avid hunter of shrooms I thought I would share one of my favorite recipes for these plentiful fungi. There are hundreds of variations of soups that you can make out wild mushrooms. This is a very basic recipe that you can easily add ingredients to that will fit anyone’s taste buds. My word of warning though if you do not know with 100% accuracy what you are picking “DO NOT EAT THEM” a lot of knowledge makes for a tasty night, but a little bit makes for a trip to the hospital.


  • 3 1/2 cups canned low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2-ounce dried and crumbled Hedgehog mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 12-20 ounces assorted sliced wild mushrooms (such as Chanterelle, Yellowfoot, or Hedgehog)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
  • 4 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-fat (1%) milk

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from heat, and add dried mushrooms to the saucepan; let them soak until the mushrooms soften, in about 20 minutes. Drain, reserving broth but discarding any sediment in broth. Coarsely chop up the mushrooms if needed (rarely need to chop with hedgehogs).

Heat the olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and sauté until tender, about seven minutes should do it. Add wild mushrooms and sauté until brown and tender, about 8 minutes. Add minced garlic, thyme, and rehydrated mushrooms and sauté for two minutes. Sprinkle flour over; stir one minute. Gradually whisk in reserved mushroom soaking broth and low-fat milk. Bring to boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium and boil gently until soup thickens slightly, about 12 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups soup to blender and puree until smooth. Return to pot. Bring soup to simmer. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and serve.

This soup is excellent in a sourdough breadbowl. I have used multiple different types of mushrooms in this and all of them have turned out great. The next variety I would like to make would be to include some chicken of the woods mushrooms in it. The firmness of that variety of mushroom should give it a good texture, and make it more like a creamy chicken mushroom soup.