Your first thought will probably be how do you make chicken work out of a cooler. Well I had to try because I love to camp but since I try to eat Paleo and I don’t want to eat hotdogs all summer finding a way to take healthy, and more importantly delicious, food with us on the go.
You also don’t want to be at a campsite trying to cut up vegetables and fumble with meat packages, making a mess and leaving “attraction” for the local wildlife.
All it takes is a little forward preparation and excellent camping meals can be yours without the hassle and mess.
Chicken (Bone in and Skin on)
- Bone in, skin on, chicken breasts (as many as you need)
- Minced garlic (I prefer out of the jar as it is a milder flavor than raw)
- Chili powder
- Any other spices you might want to add, I like to add fresh cilantro chopped!
Drop the chicken in a Ziploc bag or vacuum sealer bag with all of the ingredients. Shake it around, take out the air, seal and pop in the freezer overnight before you go. The chicken will be frozen and then can be put in the cooler next to the ice before you go. I find the chicken is perfect for dinner on night #2 as it will be mostly thawed and will have really marinated in all those yummy ingredients.
Then all you need to do is pop it onto the stove grill side on a tin foil tray and cook to 165 degrees (with a meat thermometer to ensure proper food safety), or my professional method (not recommended by anyone promoting safe food handling)- until you cut into it and it is cooked all the way through and not pink. The length of time depends on how hot your stove is and how many things you are cooking but it is usually about 20 minutes.
Obviously you need to be sure you are careful with handling and cooking of poultry, keep it properly refrigerated and cook it properly to ensure you don’t end up with Salmonella etc.
I don’t know about you but trying to prepare vegetables at a campsite has always been a real pain and makes a big mess that no one wants to have to worry about. The key to my veggies on the trail is a little forward planning.
- Sweet Potatoes (about one per person or a bit more if you want leftovers for hash)
- 1-2 onions
- garlic (again I like the bottled minced garlic because it has a lighter flavour)
- olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
Start by cutting up the number of sweet potatoes you think you will need and cut them up the night before you go. I also add in an onion as I love the flavors, especially the way the onion caramelizes and adds that little flavour with the sweet potato.
I know “how in the world will that work, they will turn black and gross”…. They key is then to pop the onions and sweet potatoes into a vacuum sealer bag (I LOVE my vacuum sealer) with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic (the kind out of the jar is best because fresh will make for a much stronger flavour that your tent mate may not appreciate in the middle of the night). Then seal up the whole thing.
The beauty is the next night when you are ready for dinner you just cut open the plastic pouch and dump it into tin foil, add a little water and put it n the stove to cook. It can cook while you are making your protein and usually takes about 20 minutes.
In addition to the sweet potatoes I like to have some other vegetables. You can cook most vegetables with the tin foil packet trick but the ones that I find stand up the best to being in a bag and outdoor cooking are:
Then you just prepare the same as the sweet potatoes I’ve explained above.