Chanterelle Tips

In the Great Valley of East Tennessee we are 16 inches above average rainfall as of July 3. That has meant a LOT of chanterelles, but it also means picking a lot of wet ones. This can mean problems in storage. I keep mine in an extra refrigerator, in a spare basket(s), covered by a dish towel. Sometimes you may want to pre-dry them first. The picture above is 8 pounds I picked this morning. I laid them out on my porch table with a light breeze blowing on them from a ceiling fan. Once they dry I’ll put them in the frig.

ALWAYS examine EVERY chanterelle as you pick them, even in the middle of a large dense patch. Below is a picture of a poisonous Amanita growing between two chanterelles. I actually picked it, but when I turned it over to trim and examine the underside of the cap, I saw that I had an Amanita. Tunnel vision in a mushroom patch can be dangerous. Developing good picking habits prevents inadvertent collections of unwanted species.


Along this same line, I had someone come up to me in the market Saturday with her “prized chanterelle”. It was a beautiful Jack-O’Lantern. I was able to show her the gills and discuss the differences with her. Last year I found a single Jack in the midst of a chanterelle patch myself. Looking around I finally spotted all the others on the back side of a nearby dead tree.

Just a tip: Examine every mushroom before it goes in the basket and err on the side of caution!

Chanterelle Sauce for Steaks

For Fathers Day I grilled some steaks and made a delicious creamy chanterelle sauce (gravy) that’s worth sharing. I had picked about 6 ounces (a quart) that morning and it was the perfect amount to prepare enough sauce/gravy for three steaks.

Chanterelle Steak Sauce/Gravy


  • 6 oz chanterelle mushrooms
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs finely minced shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp dried thyme
  • ½ tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon granules
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Carefully clean the mushrooms (small ones are best). Dry-fry (dry saute) them in a pan until most of the moisture from mushrooms is cooked out. Set aside.
  2. Melt the butter in the pan. Saute the shallots and garlic until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and the mushrooms and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and cook, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add more heavy cream for a thicker sauce, add more wine for a thinner sauce.
  3. Spoon the sauce over grilled steaks, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve immediately.


First Chanterelles 2013


Chanterelles June 14

Chanterelles June 14, 2013

If there is one thing that can cure the post-morel blues it’s fresh chanterelles. With the rainfall, at this point in the year 13+ inches above normal, I’m expecting a great year. The normal season here in the Valley is around  July 1 to Aug 15, although you will find them later in cooler locations. This year I spotted my first tiny ones on June 3. I let them grow for 10 days and then came back and picked this bunch. Granted, these are small but it’s a good sign.

These were from a spot that typically comes up first among the spots I hunt. I’m hoping for abundance in a couple of weeks.