The girolle is a yellow kind of small forest mushroom and belongs to the same family as the chanterelle. But while the chanterelle is usually light brown, the girolle is more yellowish, at least in my experience.
It is one of the most harvested mushrooms in Europe, and certainly in France, and it grows during the summer, especially after rainy days have been followed by warm days. It is not as delicate nor as expensive as the cèpe, ceps/boletus, that grows mainly in autumn.
We once went on a weekend to Vézelay in Burgundy and we stayed in a small hotel. The rooms had a balcony and on the balcony of the room next to us were blankets full of freshly gathered girolles drying in the sun. A great sight.
Some of the girolles on the market, especially some of the imported ones, are rather large and need to be cut in pieces. All of the mushrooms have the disadvantage of being rather dirty. There is a lot of sand and earth lodges in the tiny incisions of the head.
While I would never use water to clean a ceps, I do use a bit of water to clean a girolle and pat it dry afterwards.
Here the girolle is cooked in butter, with some garlic and some cream to go with chicken legs.
- Two chicken legs
- 250 grammes of girolles
- One clove of garlic
- Three tablespoons of cream
- Salt and pepper
- Brown the chicken legs in butter, five minutes on each side, then put them in an oven dish and cook them at 200 °C for another 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally and adding butter if needed.
- Clean, wash and dry the girolles, cut off any hard stems, set apart.
- Crush the garlic.
- Some 10 minutes before serving, melt butter in a skillet and cook the girolles with the garlic. Toss regularly. The mushrooms tend to shrink during cooking but if you do not cook enough then parts remain cold and raw. I cook on high heat for five minutes, then put a lid on the skillet and lower the temperature.
- Take off the lid. There will be moist in the skillet, drain this, put the mushrooms back in the pan, reheat slightly, take off the heat, add the cream and stir. (If you have time you can collect the liquid obtained when draining and reduce this in a small skillet, then add back to the mushrooms before adding the cream. This makes the sauce more runny but preserves more of the taste).
- Add salt and pepper to taste to both the mushrooms and chicken and serve.