Camping was a major success in more ways than one! For starters, the weather in Aspen was perfect: sunshine, warm temperatures, and skies so blue they looked fake! Second, I was actually able to get some sleep, despite being out of my own space. Third, Hubs and I returned feeling incredibly refreshed and ready to tackle the week. And last but not least, my campfire meal was a smash hit! I mean, Hubs could not take more than two bites without an “mmmmmm.”
I thought that maybe Hubs and I were just ravenous by the time we’d sat down to eat after setting up camp, getting a fire going, and cooking, so to be sure that it was actually as good as I thought it was, I came home and recreated the same thing in my oven. Still delicious!
The best part about this meal though is how dang simple it is. If you, like me, have to mind your spoons, you know what a big deal that is! Here’s why I love this meal:
You can prep it ahead of time. There was absolutely no way that I was going to wake up early, drive across Colorado, set up camp, and then start on dinner. No way. I knew it needed to be a simple “toss it on the fire” meal, so I did all of the prep work the night before we left home. Once we got a fire going at camp, all I had to do was toss the foil packs on the grate! The same idea applies to cooking it at home. You can prep it ahead of time when you have energy, then toss them in the oven when you don’t!
It allowed me to maintain my dietary restrictions. One of my concerns going into this camping trip was being forced to eat food that isn’t my usual and suffering the consequences. Overly-processed hot dogs, s’mores, beer, potato chips…I knew these traditional camping foods were off-limits, unless I wanted to spend my weekend on the toilet. And anyone who’s ever used a vault toilet at a campground or trailhead knows that they’re not somewhere you want to hang out long…So to come up with a meal that was still easy, but allowed me to eat fearlessly was very exciting!
Easy cleanup. Usually what happens in our home is this: at some point throughout the day, I’ll scrounge up enough energy to throw together a dinner. That’s an accomplishment (every night that we don’t eat Chick-Fil-A is an accomplishment, I tell myself). But after expending the energy to get dinner on the table, I’m pooped and won’t be good for much of anything for the rest of the evening. That includes cleaning dinner dishes. That’s why my kitchen is almost always in a state of complete disarray. So for me to be able to throw the chicken and veggies on a plate and then toss the foil in the trash is an absolute blessing. One less thing to worry about. One more spoon saved!
It is delicious! But can you ever really go wrong with chicken and potatoes?
I’m really excited to share this one with you all! I know it’s one that I’ll make again and again, both over a campfire and in my oven!
A few quick notes about the ingredients:
Oil—I used coconut oil over the campfire, and ghee when cooking in the oven. Both turned out fabulously! Feel free to substitute your favorite cooking oil! Just be sure that you use an oil that is safe for high temperatures!
Seasoning—A generous amount of salt and pepper go a long way, but if you’d like a little more pizazz, mix it up some! I kept it pretty simple with a little garlic powder, parsley on the chicken, and oregano on the potatoes and asparagus. The possibilities are endless though!
Measurements—I didn’t measure anything, because I was embracing the spirit of adventure, and nothing’s more adventurous than guesswork while you cook! Haha!
The veggie foil packs were inspired by this recipe for campfire potatoes.
- 2 Chicken breasts or tenders (~1 lb.)
- Coconut oil, avocado oil, ghee (any oil safe for high heat)
- 4-6 Red potatoes
- ½ Bunch asparagus (thin stalks work best)
- Garlic Powder
- Parsley, Oregano, or other seasoning of choice
- Cut heavy-duty aluminum foil to size, 4 pieces at about 18 inches each. Better to have them prepped and ready to go!
- If you’re cooking in an oven, preheat to 375℉. If you’re cooking over a fire, be sure you’ve got it built up nice and hot.
- Wash and cut the potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Toss them straight into a pot of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes, until they start to soften.
- While the potatoes boil, clean and cut chicken breasts into small strips (unless you’re using tenders, in which case, bonus! Less work for you!). Place half the chicken strips in a line in the center of a piece of foil. Generously coat chicken with oil, then salt, pepper, and other seasonings. A few good shakes of coarse sea salt and a few smaller shakes of everything else should be fine! Fold the foil around the chicken, making a little package. It should be tight, but not too tight. There needs to be enough room around the chicken for air to circulate while it cooks!
- Repeat step 4 with the remaining chicken.
- When the potatoes have boiled for 10 minutes, remove from heat and strain (or fish them out with a slotted spoon). Divide the potatoes between the two remaining pieces of foil, making a flat pile in the middle of each. Use a generous amount of oil to cover potatoes, then season with salt, pepper, garlic, and whatever else you’d like.
- Clean the asparagus and cut off the tough, bottom of each piece. Cut the stalks in half.
- Place the halved asparagus on top of the two piles of potatoes, and add one more shake of salt on top.
- Fold the foil like you did for the chicken, not too tight.
- Wrap each pack in another layer of foil. This helps prevent oil from leaking out and causing a grease fire in your campsite or in your oven.
- In the oven: Cook chicken and potato packs for 40 minutes, flipping each after the first 20 minutes. Over a fire: Place the packs on a grate directly over the flame. I’m going to be honest…Our fire went out halfway through cooking dinner (it may or may not have been my fault), so my cook time was definitely off, but in total, the food should be over the flames for about 15 minutes. Be sure you flip the packs every couple minutes to prevent scorching.
- Remove from fire/oven. Be very careful opening the packets. The steam is very hot! Dump it all on a plate and enjoy!
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