What species of chicken of the woods did you purchase? There are some that are recommended to grow on oak vs pine, I have also seen warning like "Do not consume any chicken of the woods unless you harvested it from a deciduous tree [for NE species]. Those growing on yews, conifers or eucalyptus may absorb some of their oils which can cause serious distress."
I ate a small piece of one that was from a pine, and it had a really "off" taste. All the rest that I wild harvest here (in PA), I take from deciduous trees and have not had that issue, see (http://steve.rogueleaf.com/fungi/laetiporus/
I tried the plug spawn, and had limited success, I wasn't able to keep the logs moist or shaded enough, and I think I chose too large of logs which take longer to fully be inoculated. For the plug spawn, you are going to need to have a log and drill a bunch of holes, insert the plugs, and then brush with melted wax to seal the inserted plugs https://mushroommtn.wpengine.com/growing-manual-resources/