Roasted Hen of the Woods Mushrooms with Garlic Aioli

A recipe from Modern Carnivore by Jamie Carlson

Hen of the Woods or, Maitake, is a great mushroom with a excellent texture and many uses. They typically grow in the fall and like the south face side of a big Oak tree. They will grow from the ground over the roots of the Oak. When you find one you usually have plenty to use and store for later use. A good sized Hen can be 4-5 pounds. I like to dehydrate some and freeze the rest. When I freeze them, I pack the mushrooms into a one-quart freezer-safe container and then cover them with water and a teaspoon of salt. Then when you thaw them out to use them, the water you put in has magically turned into a mushroom stock of sorts.

If you ever find a Hen of the Woods make sure you keep track of where you found it. They have a tendency of growing back in the same spot year after year.


These photos provided by the Minnesota Mycological Society illustrate the top side and a view of the underside of a Hen of the Woods. For more information and resources on foraging, visit their site at’

Underside of a Hen of the Woods mushroom – photo courtesy of the Minnesota Mycological Society











Roasted Hen of the Woods Mushrooms

1 pound of Hen of the woods cleaned and picked over, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons bacon drippings, melted

3 sprigs of thyme

Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the mushrooms with the oil, bacon drippings, salt, pepper and thyme and then bake in a 325 degree oven for 50-60 minutes. The mushrooms should be slightly crisp on the edges and have a nice meaty bite to them.

For the Aioli

1/2 cup mayo

juice and zest from one lemon

2 cloves of garlic finely minced

salt and pepper to taste

Blend together and serve the mushrooms with the aioli and enjoy.

Tips on Cleaning Wild Mushrooms: Set mushroom in a large bowl and pick off all the acorns, leaves, and twigs. Brush off dirt with an unused paintbrush. Using a sharp paring knife, cut off the dirtiest parts of the base, and move mushroom to a clean cutting board.
Cut into smaller pieces, 1-3 inches wide depending on your purpose. Wipe off any remaining dirt on each piece with damp paper towels.





About the Chef

Jamie Carlson is 43 year old hunting, fishing and foraging enthusiast. He works as a registered nurse at the VA hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and the great outdoors and when he can he loves to combine the two. Jamie enjoys sharing his knowledge with others, particularly those who are new to hunting, fishing and cooking in the great outdoors. He serves on the Board for the Minnesota chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and is a contributing food writer for national hunting publications and Modern Carnivore (


















Categories: Featured, Salads, Sides & Misc

One Comment


I appreciate the help offered to green mushroom harvesters about cleaning. But why not inform them of how to clean their mushrooms in the woods properly?
The brush on the mushroom cutting knife is not only for dirt but also for spreading spores. Cleaning your shrooms of debris while in the woods helps the delicate ecosystem thrive. Replacing your cut stems covered in mycelia will not hurt.


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