I've only had chicken of the woods once before in a dish at Corner Table. It won me over right away, but I'd never seen it anywhere to buy before. They are like no other mushroom I've every had, very firm with a decidedly lemon chicken flavor.
I knew I were going to make a pasta with these two mushrooms, but I didn't want to make anything too heavy. I also wanted to make sure there wasn't anything else in the pasta that would overpower the mushrooms. So, I kept it pretty basic a light cream sauce flavored with garlic, leeks and a little parsley. It was exactly like I wanted a summer mushroom pasta to be. The only thing I would change if we splurged and made it again would be to cut the chicken of the woods mushrooms a little smaller. The bigger pieces stayed a little chewier than we liked while the small ones were nice and soft.
Wild Mushroom Pasta
4 - 5 oz linguine
1/2 T butter
1/2 T olive oil
1 leek, white and light green parts sliced and well washed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb wild mushrooms, chopped or sliced depending on the mushroom
1 t white wine vinegar
1/4 c chicken stock
1/2 c half and half
1/2 oz grated parmesan
1 T chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Cook the linguine according to the directions. When done drain and set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter and olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leek and garlic and sauté for a minute or two until just starting to get tender. Add the mushrooms. Sauté until the mushroom and leeks are very tender. Stir in the vinegar and chicken stock. Add the half and half. Let cook until just slightly reduced. Add the parmesan and stir until melted. Stir in the parsley. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Stir the drained pasta into the sauce. Serve with extra cheese if desired.
Makes 2 servings
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