It's been a bit dry down here for this year's late summer/early fall mushroom harvest, but I have already harvested several Hen of the Woods mushrooms (maitake). I love them in stir-frys, hot dishes, thinly sliced and boiled up as noodles, and my new favorite: Hen Jerky.
You can get fancy and try to slice them as uniformly thin as you can or you can just tear the lobes from each other. The bottom center can be quite tough, so remember to cut out the tough parts.
I've made 3 batches so far this fall - while they won't hurt you if you don't boil the mushrooms before dehydrating them, they do smell quite awful (in my opinion anyway!) if you dehydrate them raw. Also, I don't have a fancy dehydrator - mine only has an on/off switch so I just keep an eye on the mushroom pieces to see how done they are. Makes a great snack!
1 large Hen of the Woods mushroom, torn or sliced
1 gallon size ziplock bag
spicy brown mustard, about 2 Tbsp
pomegranate red wine vinegar, about 1/4 c.
raw honey, about 2 Tbsp
maple syrup, about 1 -2 Tbsp
sweet basil (dried), about 1 Tbsp
ginger, freshly grated, about 1 -2 tsp
sea salt, about 1 tsp
pepper - as much as you want!
The amounts you use will largely depend on the size of your hen. Boil the cleaned hen pieces in water for about 10 minutes. Drain and add to the ziplock bag. Stir up your marinade with a whisk until the raw honey is fully incorporated; pour into the ziplock bag over the hen. Seal bag leaving some air space and shake, roll, squish to coat. Once the hen is fully coated, squeeze out the air from the bag, reseal, and let marinate in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Place in single layers in your dehydrator, dry until as chewy or brittle as you like.
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