Kind of funny seeing your share in TN beating the timing here in Florida!
That said, we've been in as bad of a drought as I can remember... until this week. Tropical Storm Claudette's dumped multiple inches on us the past few days, so look for my dependable spots to be pretty thick with them here shortly.
H20fwler, you can get really fancy with them but to me they're great simply sautéed and used in omelets, on pizza, and included in soups.
That said chanterelles DON'T typically grow on logs but instead in shaded soil under tree canopy. Toxic Jack O'Lanterns however do grow on stump/logs and are one of the mushrooms most often confused by beginners starting to mushroom collect.
This video compares the two different mushrooms. That said, once you get your hands on chanterelles and can identify them it's pretty easy to avoid confusing them with any other mushrooms.
Those are chanterelles growing on trees. They only grow from the ground. Most likely you are seeing Jack o lantern mushrooms. They are poisonous, won't kill you just make you wish you were dead. Everybody be careful out their with wild mushrooms, so many have poisonous look a likes.
I found some purple wood blewits one year in my neighbors woods. I shared them with them. She said they were really good. A few weeks later she tells me she picked some of those " purple" mushrooms. I said you really need to be careful and know what your doing. She got kinda pissy with me and said geez I only picked the purple ones. Her husband made her go get them, I went thru them and their was two deadly courts mixed in with the blewits. They look almost exactly the same from the top, except the corts have brown gills and cobwebs on them. Would of put them both in the e.r. I think my ears are still ringing today from her husband yelling at her.
Saute (almost stir fry) with the tiniest bit of olive oil or butter and a little salt over med-hi heat really let's the earthy flavor and texture come thru...just sorta let'em sweat down. And make sure you get a good id for chants growing out of wood vs dirt. Jack o lanterns can look a whole lot like chanterelles, typically grow from wood, and if you mis-id will quickly find yourself either sitting on the toilet or leaning over it...or both.
FINALLY made a harvest, and not for lack of chanterelles but instead been so busy each time I've gone to pick them over the past couple of months I've found them just a few days past prime.
Found out something really interesting about them, and that is if you actually "sun" them in really bright daylight immediately after picking they have the ability to generate significantly higher rates of vitamin D than if not sunned. Increasingly weary of talking about covid in the main covid thread, but little question concerning vitamin D being helpful in boosting immunity and lowering mortality risks, so left them out in the brutal Florida sun for an hour or so for kicks and giggles.
Numerous articles online speaking to sunning mushrooms to increase vitamin D levels, but this one speaks to chanterelles already having a fair amount due to a bit more sun exposure when growing than other mushrooms that prefer darker conditions, as well as levels really skyrocketing for chanterelles with exposure to bright light after picking.