Campfire Chicken Pouches

Dedicated to the men formerly of BSA Troops 354 and 747 of the Yellow River District in the Atlanta Area Council.

Campfire Chicken Pouches

Ingredients
2 Chicken Thighs, bone-in, skinless
2 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless
1 small Yellow Onion, diced (Vidalia ideally)
1 1/2 dozen Table Mushrooms, quartered
1 yellow Bell Pepper, diced
6 cloves Garlic, slivered
1 Corn on the Cob, cut in half
4 Sprigs of Rosemary
4 Tbsp Butter, divided in sixteen pieces
1/2 tsp Black Pepper, ground
1/2 tsp Cumin, ground
1/2 tsp Coriander Seed, ground
1/4 tsp Fennel Seed, crushed
1/4 tsp dried Oregano, crushed
Salt to taste

Directions:

  • Prepare Coals or Preheat Oven to 350F. If you have the luxury to be camping and cooking over a fire, you’ll want to create an area of charred wood–like a bed of coals. You could also use charcoal in a grill. You should know that on open fires, it is difficult to gauge the temperature–so be vigilant and have tongs ready to move your goods.
  • Cut four pieces of Aluminum Foil AT LEAST 1 foot by 1 1/2 feet. I recommend getting the extra-wide Aluminum Foil and cutting 4 squares.
  • Season the Chicken pieces with Salt and Pepper.
  • On two of the sheets of Aluminum foil, place on each: one Thigh, one Breast, one half of the Corn.
  • Mix the Mushrooms, Peppers, Butter, and Spices together and divide among the two Squares, keeping everything in the center in a mound.
  • Put a Sprig of Rosemary in each.
  • For each pouch, carefully pull two sides together and fold the seam together. Then fold and roll each side remaining. I recommend then placing in a second piece of Aluminum foil and repeating – helps prevent spillage and tares.
  • Roast for about an hour, making sure to heat evenly. If using an oven, place the Pouches on a baking sheet.

Makes 2 pouches (2 servings)

NOTES: So this takes me back to when I was a Boy Scout in troops 354 and 747 in Conyers. We used to make some variation of this on a camping trip–usually with skin-on chicken and a bag of mixed veggies. Sometimes we would add fresh veggies and potatoes, and rarely any herbs or spices outside of Seasoned Salt. This is my version with real Spices, fresh Rosemary, and Mushrooms instead of Potatoes. The vegetables you choose to use are up to you, and limited only by how many they fit inside a pouch. If you use Potatoes, I would suggest adding more salt and pepper.

It is memories of the times like camping that really stand out to me. Looking back, most of my friends from my later troop are very distant now–probably because we’ve moved on geographically, but also because they’re much more conservative than I am–me being gay probably doesn’t help as a result. Regardless, I dedicate this to those folks.

Advertisements

Orange and Fennel Turkey Breasts

Orange and Fennel Turkey Breasts

Ingredients:
2 Turkey Breasts, boneless, & butterfly cut
2 Fennel Bulbs, thinly sliced perpendicular
2 Shallots thinly sliced
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup Turkey Stock (or Chicken Stock)
2 Seedless Oranges segment cut
1/4 cup Raisins
2 Tbsp Capers
1/3 cup Fresh Parsley, chopped fine
1 tsp Cumin, ground
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Orange Zest
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Dust the Turkey Breasts with the Cumin, and Salt and Pepper as needed.
  • Heat up a large skillet on medium heat and add the Olive Oil.
  • Saute the Turkey Breasts on both sides, about 3-5 minutes each (depending on thickness) until cooked through and starting to brown. Remove to the side
  • In the Skillet add the Fennel and Onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender.
  • Add the Stock, Orange Juice, and Raisins, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Orange segments and simmer for another 2 minutes, stirring often but trying not to break up the segments.
  • Plate the Turkey and cover with the Fennel Orange topping.
  • Garnish with fresh Parsley, Capers, and Orange Zest.

Makes 2-4 servings (depending on the size of the breasts).

NOTES: I tend to use Naval Oranges for this recipe. In fact if you get two Naval Oranges for segments, and then another 2 for the Juice, it is amazing! Use fresh Zest from the Oranges, not the store-bought kind.

Blackened Chicken with Grilled Fruit

Blackened Chicken with Grilled Fruit

Ingredients:
3 Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless, butterfly cut
3 Tbsp Butter, melted
1/2 – 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Blackened Seasoning
2 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp Coriander Seed
3/4 Tbsp Paprika
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper ground
1/2 Tsp White Pepper ground
1/2 tsp Thyme dried
1/2 tsp Oregano dried
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds dried

Grilled Fruit
1 Papaya, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1 Pineapple, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1-2 Mangoes, skinned, cut in chunks or slices
1-2 tsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper ground
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Directions:

  • Prepare the Fruit and place on Skewers.
  • Brush with Olive Oil.
  • Sprinkle with Salt, Pepper, and Cinnamon.
  • Place on a hot grill or in the Broiler for 5 minutes per side. Set to the side, or cook while you prepare the Chicken.
  • Put all of the Ingredients of the Blackened Spice Rub in a Mortar and rub with the Pestle to mix well and open up some of the spices and herbs. Place to the side.
  • Begin heating a cast-iron skillet on high with the Olive Oil. You do not need to use all of it, just enough to coat the skillet. You do not want a puddle of oil.
  • Dredge the Chicken in the melted Butter, and then coat with the Spice Rub on all sides.
  • Place in the Skillet, and cook both sides. They will blacken because of the Butter and herbs. Each side should be about 5 minutes. Because the Chicken was butterfly cut, it will cook all the way through.
  • Plate the Chicken and cover with the Grilled Fruit (on or off the skewers, your choice).

Makes 3 Servings.

NOTES: Blackening is a technique of cooking often associated with Cajun cooking. I have read some places that attribute it however to a modern chef named Paul Prudhomme (who specializes in Cajun cooking). Whether an old technique, or a modern one, it extremely flavorful. I recommend playing with the amounts of spices–some like it hot, some don’t like it as hot–but Blackened is intended to be Spicy. If you are wanting to cheat, pick up some Hot Shot instead of the various types of Peppercorns, but do not skimp on the flavors. A lot of folks seem to want to avoid using Butter in the recipe–it is essential for true Blackened food, as the milk solids are part of the Blackening process. If you want a spicy chicken on the grill with the rub, great, but it’s not truly Blackened… just spicy ;-).  

Also, just a note, this Blackened Spice Rub can be used on Fish (it’s original intention), as well as other forms of protein.

Steak Spice Rub

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp dried minced Garlic
1 Tbsp dried mined Onion
1 Tbsp Salt (Sea Salt or Kosher)
1 Tbsp coarse ground Black Pepper
1/2 Tbsp Fennel Seeds
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp dried Thyme, crushed
1 tsp dried Rosemary, crushed
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Caraway Seeds (optional)

Directions:

  • In a mortar and pestle, combine the Salt, Pepper, Fennel, Coriander, Thyme, Rosemary, and Caraway; grind to release the oils.
  • Combine with the remaining ingredients and mix well.

NOTES: This is a great spice rub for Grilling and Broiling. I also use it over roast or steamed vegetables. You can utilize it with Butter and give a kick to baked potatoes. I’ve even sprinkled it on steamed shrimp.

The benefit of making your own Steak Rub is that you can control the Salt–and you may choose to omit the salt altogether, and still have plenty of flavor. The important part of releasing the flavor is the Mortar and Pestle which release the oils.

To store this, keep it in an air-tight container that does not allow light, and store in a cool dark place. It will keep for a while… but not years! (Old spices do get bland).

Fennel Salad

Ingredients:
2 medium Fennel Bulbs
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Sesame Seeds
Shaved Parmesan Cheese to taste

Directions:

  • Trim the Fennel of any Stalks, and Fronds; trim any fibrous material with a peeler. Reserve Fronds for garnish.
  • Cut Fennel Bulbs in half vertically and remove the fibrous cores.
  • Laying each side flat, cut the Fennel horizontally into thin crescents.
  • In a large bowl, toss the Fennel crescents with the Olive Oil, Lemon, Salt & Pepper
  • Move to serving dish(es).
  • Chop of the Fronds.
  • Garnish the Fennel with the Sesame Seeds, Fronds, and some shaved Parmesan slices.

NOTES: Fennel has a nice strong anise flavor that is complemented by the Sesame seeds and salty Parmesan Cheese. This salad is a great salad for a Spring day.

Variations:
Ṽ›Ɣ – Omit the Parmesan.

Fennel Chicken with Couscous

Dedicated to Christopher S.

Ingredients:
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Ginger
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Coriander Seed, ground
1 tsp Salt
4 boneless, skinless, Chicken Breasts, butterfly cut
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 medium Red Onion, diced
1 Fennel Bulb, halved and sliced (1/4″ slices)
1 Tbsp Lemon Zest
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
2 Tbsp Cornstarch

1 cup uncooked Whole-Wheat Couscous
2 cups Water
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Juice of 1 Lemon

Directions:

  • Combine the Spices and Salt in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle over the Chicken breasts, making sure to get the spices on both sides.
  • In a skillet, heat the Olive Oil on medium heat and add the Chicken, cooking for 5 minutes each side.
  • Remove from the Chicken and set aside.
  • Add the Garlic, Onion, Fennel, and Lemon Zest, cooking until the Fennel is tender or about 5 minutes.
  • In a bowl whisk together the Cornstarch and the Chicken Broth, then add to the Fennel.
  • Heat for another 7-10 minutes, allowing a sauce to form.
  • Heat the Water in a sauce pot.
  • When boiling, remove from the heat and add the Couscous.
  • Fluff the Couscous with a fork, adding the Lemon Juice and Olive Oil.
  • Serve the Chicken on a bead of Couscous with the Fennel sauce over it.

NOTES: Couscous كسكس is a pasta that is common in northern Africa and the Middle East. Near East® makes a good whole wheat Couscous. Also, I prefer small grained Couscous, as it feels fluffier than the larger versions.  This dish is also very tasty without couscous over a bed of Spinach. I have made this recipe suitable for those on low-carb high-protien diets at the request of my bud Christopher S.