The Backcountry Chef Chronicles



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Nataila Portman – Blogger/Designer

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ENOpians looooove to get outside and go camping. And everyone has their favorite part of camping. For some it’s trout fishing, night hiking, river rock hopping. For others it’s building the best campfire or lounging in a hammock reading a book. For me, it’s cooking. I make plenty of exceptions weight wise to haul in what I need to make the food magic happen. My fellow backpackers may poke fun at me while we’re hiking in, but they get real quiet when I’m about to serve them up some backcountry grub.


“Rescuing Chicken & Broccoli Rice”

This was the first camping meal I fell in love with. Now if you’re a vegetarian, sub it with whatever you like, be it a protein alternative or more veggies. This meal has literally brought me back to life one night camping in freezing temperatures. It’s super simple to make and only takes one pot. (Yay!)


At Home:

Gather your ingredients to ensure you don’t leave anything behind but the main thing you need to do is prep your chicken. I’m all about that free-range organic meat and produce-but that’s just me. Take your chicken and cut it into thin strips, wrap and freeze for at least 24 hours. This way it will stay cool, fresh, and you it will already be prepared and you won’t have to handle raw poultry in the woods at night.

Tip: Seasonings and olive oil store well in miniature toiletry containers or re-used mini liquor bottles.


  • 2 breasts of chicken
  • 1 tube of saffron yellow rice
  • ½ of a red onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 big ol’ head of broccoli.
  • 1 big o’l handful of sliced almonds
  • salt and pepper (cayenne pepper optional but recommended!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter


Cook it:

If you have a stove, you can totally just make it on there but I like to use campfire coals for this one. Once you have a good coal zone going in the campfire, add just a touch of olive oil (not the whole tablespoon) to the pot and throw in the almonds. Don’t walk away because these won’t take long. Toast almonds, remove from pot and set aside. Using same pot add water, you’re going to boil it too so feel free to fill it from a river. Bring water to boil, add all of rice and seasonings in the tube. Simmer for about five minutes, add chicken, onion, garlic, and broccoli. Lid the pot and continue to cook on coals. Open it every every now and stir around. When rice is fluffy and chicken fully cooked add salt and pepper, stir, remove from fire to cool. Top with almonds, serve, eat and be merry!

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