Forget boring campfire food and canned crap. Let’s start making cooking over the open fire fun again – and damned delicious. Try this Campfire Grilled Chicken Panini Recipe
I have a firm belief that campfire cooking is some of the best damned cooking you can do. One, a lot of people overthink recipes – meat is pretty dang simple most of the time. Salt, pepper and a proper thermometer go a long way to a simplistic approach to great flavor and can be the basic plan of attack on so many pieces and cuts. Whether you wrap in foil, grill over a grate, or use a cast iron skillet, cooking outdoors at the campsite should be something that’s savored and doesn’t have to mean reheating some MRE’s. I’ve hiked in with frozen chunks of beef, fish, lamb, and fowl – and tiny pre-made seasoning packets ready to go more than once (because I’ll be damned if I huff in 35 lbs of gear to eat rehydrated mush). And, most of the time, people end up getting a whiff of the campsite and coming over to see what’s up…. Now that I think of it, I may be invited on most of my shared camping trips just because of my stubbornness to eat anything less than the best while outdoors….
Back to our topic at hand… For starters, you’re camping. Which probably means you are in the solitude of nature all by your lonesome, or that you are surrounded by people you’d be willing to share paper thin walls with. Chances are, you like them enough to find out how much they snore.
Second, you are now doing what I pretty much love most – standing outside and cooking. Hard to beat the idea of pitching a tent surrounded by a lush forest, in the desert, or near a roaring river and not finding a momentary bit of zen.
Then chilling with a drink in one hand and tending a fire? Yeah, sign me up.
Im sitting working today, but glancing oit the windows itching for some peaks. My bags are packed and ready to go and Im never more than a few hours from the perfect solo weekend getaway and I think some trails are calling my name. I love how easy my @keltybuilt tent is to toss up quickly and by myself. Its light, comes together quick and I can assembme and disassemble it without thinking.
This year, I have gotten back into cooking over the open flame getting my relaxation back on in the woods and trying to spend some time offline. I’ve been in the rolling Appalachians, the peaks of Mammoth Lake region and even a quick pop into Alaska. Food-wise, it’s reminded me some basics go a long way and that you can pretty much make anything work with a flame, skillet or foil, even in a downpour.
On the worst of mornings, you’re standing somewhere completely epic. On the best of mornings, that view comes with a hot biscuit and most likely will involve an epic hike.
Simple, but perfect life.
Picked up any tips or tricks for camp life along the way? I’d love to hear them!
Pound your chicken and slice your peppers and onions ahead of time and store in ziplock bags for easy campfire ready meal prep. Jazz up the recipe by included some bacon that you cooked at home and hiked in with.
- 1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Oil for grill grate
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 onion sliced
- 1/2 red pepper seeded and sliced
- 1 granny smith apple sliced
- 2 tbsp mayo
- 2-4 oz cheddar cheese sliced thin
- ciabatta rolls
Heat your grill for indirect cooking and clean and oil the grate. When ready to cook (I used charcoal), pat the chicken dry and pound to 1/2" thick. This can be done ahead of time, and stored in ziplock bags until ready to cook if hiking in, just make sure to keep the chicken at a safe temperature on ice.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and toss onto the grill. Cover and cook, turning as needed for epic grill marks (and to make sure the heat is evenly distributed) until the chicken reads 160 degrees on an instant thermometer. Wrap in foil and let rest another 5 degrees.
Meanwhile, toss the sliced peppers and onion in the oil, sprinkle with a little salt and toss onto a campfire safe pan or griddle, and cook until soft.
Slice the chicken and toss with the onion and pepper. Slather the rolls in mayo, arrange the sliced apples, chicken, onions, peppers and cheese over the rolls and top with the other half of the roll. Wrap tightly in foil and press onto the campfire until the bread is warmed through and the cheese is melty. This can be done by tossing the foil directly onto the campfire, if you have a safe means to retrieve your sandwiches, no need to make sacrifices to the camping gods, or make a panini by pressing the wrapped sandwiches with the previously used griddle for pressed delicious grill marks.
Unwrap and serve hot.