With all the rain we've been having it's inevitable that the mushrooms have to be good this spring. We've been out gathering Chanterelles and got a good enough haul to make it worthwhile bottling some for keeping all year round.
These ones were full of water so we left them on the terrace to dry out slightly then cleaned them with a soft brush and removed any eaten pieces or damaged parts ready for cooking.
I cook them before bottling because if you put them straight into the jars then sterilise them the mushrooms reduce so much in size that you only have a third of a jar-full and lots of water - wasting space and fuel in the process. I do the mushrooms in batches in a small knob of duck or goose fat and heat them gently at first to get rid of the water then fry them until they're golden brown. I then spoon them into jars, cover the jars and sterilise them while they're still piping hot for about 35 minutes.
Chanterelles stored like this can be kept in a dark cellar for a very long time and taste just like fresh ones when you open the jar.
Cooking them ready to eat means you can have a mushroom omelette ready within minutes of opening the jar. I also add Chanterelles - which go really well with creamy dishes - to sauces and stews. Even just par-boiled potatoes with mushrooms fried in a bit of goose fat make a tasty and interesting meal. It's so nice to have something delicious to eat when it's not mushroom season.