hen of the woods

noun

variants or hen-of-the-woods or less commonly hen of the wood or hen-of-the-wood
plural hens of the woods or hens-of-the-woods or hen of the woods or hen-of-the-woods also hens of the wood or hens-of-the-wood
: an edible bracket fungus (Grifola frondosa) of North America and Eurasia that forms large clusters of pale gray to brown fruiting bodies comprised of wavy, fanlike caps found usually at the base of trees and that is valued for its earthy flavor and medicinal properties : maitake
… the delicate taste of the chanterelle and the smooth earthiness of the hen of the woods are well worth the effort of a walk in the woods.Dave Orrick
The hen-of-the-woods is one of the easiest wild mushrooms to identify. It grows at the base of hardwoods in a mass of overlapping caps …Thomas J. Morgan

Examples of hen of the woods in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The current menu features pork belly, which benefits from an 18-hour sous vide bath and exceptional banchan; the hen of the woods mushrooms introduce smoke, the apple kimchi brings the funk and the green garlic bolsters savoriness. Cesar Hernandez, San Francisco Chronicle, 22 Mar. 2023 Rustichella d'Abruzzo’s Sagne a Pezzi pasta ($6.49) and a cashew milk ($6.99) and vegan parm ($2.99) cream sauce that has hen of the woods, oyster, and porcini mushrooms. Bon Appétit Contributor, Bon Appétit, 23 Feb. 2023 To make this vegetarian >> replace the chicken with mushrooms, such as portobello or hen of the woods. G. Daniela Galarza, Washington Post, 16 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hen of the woods.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hen of the woods was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near hen of the woods

Cite this Entry

“Hen of the woods.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hen%20of%20the%20woods. Accessed 17 Apr. 2024.

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