No Clever Title, Just a Lot of Mushrooms

Chanetrelle season is here, and I went out scouring some local woods last week. UC and I collected about 3/4 lb of cynnabar chanetrelles one day. They’re small, so this is actually pretty good. The following day, I went out and garnered 3 lbs. of “common chanetrelles,” which are considered some of the best edibles anywhere.

Above: Three pounds of common and cynnabar chanetrelles (2.75 lbs or so was the common, which is far larger and has better flavor, but isn’t nearly as vibrant). Below: The largest common chanetrelle I found on this hunt.

Above: The perfect chanetrelle trumpet. The shape is gorgeous, and the color was a yolk-yellow. I did find two white mushrooms that were even bigger that I am fairly sure were a white variety of chanetrelle, but since I couldn’t 100% positively ID them because they’re only briefly mentioned in one of our two books, they were tossed instead of eaten. Below: Cynnabar chanetrelles, rinsed and trimmed.

So, what did we do with all of these lovely mushrooms? Well, some were quick-cooked and frozen. The rest were used for dinner the following night. Above: Heritage varieties of turnips and beets, ready for trimming. Below: Blue potatoes. I love these for their creamy texture, and also for the vibrant color that sticks with them through baking (though not so much through boiling). All of these are from local farms.

The beets, turnips, potatoes, and some local onions  were laid into a bed (pictured above) for the chicken, which is pictured below. The chicken (pasture raised, organic, from Double H farms) was rubbed with Amish butter, then sprinkled with paprika, hickory sea salt, fresh cracked pepper, and rosemary. Mushrooms were laid in the bottom bed, and arranged on top.

I unfortunately don’t have a good picture of the finished product because it got too dark in the house to get a decent shot; but, trust me when I say it was really, really tasty. The remainder of the chicken is being used tonight for chicken fajitas, along with fresh local bell peppers. Dessert will be a layered parfait of Greek yogurt and fresh, local heritage peaches that just came into season. They’re so full of flavor!

Below, for those that haven’t visited us yet, is a picture of one wall of our kitchen. To the left is a salvaged farm window, which we use to write out our weekly menu, grocery lists, notes to each other, and anything else food or kitchen related that strikes our fancy. It’s also where I leave UC 2-dimensional flowers once in a while, as you can see here (he brings me real wildflowers a lot, so these are often representations of what he’s given to me). The plaque above it is an Aztec calendar, which makes far more sense in a kitchen once you’ve seen me de-bone a chicken and smash the bones for stock, I guess. The little white door you see is a built-in ironing board! I’ve mentioned we have a historic apartment, and this is one of those odd little quirks. We use it as a cooling rack. In the midst of the various utensils (including my favorite cleaver) you see a garlic braid UC finished a couple weeks back. Stellar, isn’t it? Below that is his family bread mixing bowl, which is sitting on my great grandmother’s cupboard.

Some day soon, I’ll post more kitchen pics. We have, I think, made the most of our space and are quite proud of how it’s turned out. We’re comfortable in the kitchen we’ve created together, and it says a lot about who we are.


2 responses to “No Clever Title, Just a Lot of Mushrooms

  • Sylvie, Rappahannock Cook & Kitchen Gardener

    I am a little late in responding to this, but I just saw the post. How wonderful to see all those chanterelles. I knew we had morelles here in the Northen Piedmont where I also live: my husband forages for them in the spring, and what a terrific year 2008 was. I did not know we also had chanterelles. Are they still around as I am writing this in mid-August? or do I have to wait for next July?

    I am sure the dish tasted terrific! Thanks for sharing.

    Is that PLASTIC you were using to bake it though?

  • shwankie


    Re: the chanterelles, I am not sure if they’re in your area. Yes, we are still finding them, but we live a bit south. If they’re local to you, then you should have another month-ish I’d guess. Since I am relatively new to VA, I can’t be sure how long they’re here.

    Re: the baking bag. It is plastic. It’s not something I do often, but I do use cooking bags occasionally, for a variety of reasons that are long and varied, probably 3 times a year (for myself, though I don’t use them for clients). I’ve had this particular package since we moved here a year ago. The bag gets washed out and recycled.

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