Campfire Delight: One-Pan Chicken and Vegetable Extravaganza
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Welcome, fellow nature enthusiasts and budding campers! Embarking on a camping adventure is a wonderful way to reconnect with the great outdoors and create lasting memories. As a seasoned camper, I understand the importance of delicious and nourishing meals while camping. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you one of my all-time favorite camping recipes: a mouthwatering one-pan chicken and vegetable dish cooked in a trusty cast iron pan. This recipe is not only easy to prepare but also bursting with flavors that will satisfy your cravings after a day full of outdoor activities. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get cooking!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4-6 campers (adjust quantities accordingly)
– 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs) – You can also use chicken drumsticks or wings for a different twist.
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 teaspoon paprika
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon dried thyme
– Salt and black pepper to taste
– 2 bell peppers (red, green, or a combination), sliced
– 1 large red onion, sliced
– 2 zucchini, sliced
– 1 cup cherry tomatoes
– 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
– Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
Don’t fret if you don’t have all the ingredients on hand. Camping is about improvisation and adapting to the resources available. Here are some alternative ingredient ideas you can use in this recipe:
– Instead of chicken breasts, you can use boneless pork chops, shrimp, or even firm tofu for a vegetarian option.
– If you don’t have paprika, you can substitute it with chili powder or cayenne pepper for some heat.
– For the dried thyme, you can replace it with dried rosemary or Italian seasoning.
– Feel free to experiment with different vegetables based on what’s in season or what you have in your cooler. Broccoli, carrots, asparagus, or corn on the cob would work beautifully in this dish.
1. Preparing the Chicken:
– Begin by seasoning the chicken with paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme, salt, and black pepper. Ensure that the chicken is evenly coated with the spices.
– If possible, let the chicken marinate for a few hours or overnight in the cooler to enhance the flavors. However, if you’re short on time, you can proceed with the next steps.
2. Preparing the Vegetables:
– Heat your trusty cast iron pan over the campfire or camp stove. Add the olive oil and let it heat for a minute.
– Add the sliced bell peppers, red onion, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms to the pan. Season them with salt and pepper according to your taste.
– Saute the vegetables for about 5-7 minutes until they are tender but still slightly crisp. Remove them from the pan and set them aside in a separate bowl.
3. Cooking the Chicken:
– In the same cast iron pan, add a bit more olive oil if needed. Place the seasoned chicken breasts or thighs in the pan and cook them for about 6-8 minutes per side until they are golden brown and cooked through.
– Cooking time may vary based on the thickness of the chicken, so adjust accordingly. Ensure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
– Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pan and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it into strips or bite-sized pieces.
4. Combining the Ingredients:
– Add the sautéed vegetables back into the cast iron pan with the chicken.
– Gently toss the ingredients together, allowing the flavors to mingle.
– Continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through.
5. Serving Suggestions:
– Garnish the dish with freshly chopped parsley or cilantro for a burst of freshness and added aroma.
– This one-pan chicken and vegetable dish is delicious on its own but can be paired with a variety of side dishes to make it a complete camping feast. Here are a few ideas:
– Garlic butter rice: Prepare some quick-cooking rice and toss it with melted garlic butter and a pinch of salt for a simple and flavorful side dish.
– Grilled corn on the cob: Wrap corn cobs in aluminum foil and roast them over the campfire or grill until tender. Serve with butter and a sprinkle of your favorite spices.
– Campfire baked potatoes: Wrap whole potatoes in aluminum foil and place them in the campfire coals. Let them cook for about 30-40 minutes until soft. Serve with sour cream and chives.
6. Spice Ideas:
– While this recipe is already seasoned with paprika, garlic powder, and dried thyme, feel free to customize the flavors to suit your taste buds. Here are some spice ideas you can experiment with:
– Smoky: Add a pinch of smoked paprika or chipotle powder for a smoky kick.
– Lemon Herb: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the dish before serving and sprinkle it with fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, or oregano.
– Asian-inspired: Add a splash of soy sauce, sesame oil, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for an Asian twist.
Congratulations, dear newbie campers! You’ve successfully cooked up a delectable one-pan chicken and vegetable dish in a cast iron pan. Embracing the camping lifestyle is all about embracing the simple joys, and this recipe brings both convenience and culinary delight to your campsite. Remember, the beauty of camping lies in the freedom to adapt, experiment, and create your own camping traditions. So, gather around the campfire, share this flavorsome meal with your loved ones, and savor the moments that make camping truly special. Happy camping and bon appétit!
Here are some camping related links that might be helpful.