Chicken is one of the most versatile meats on the planet, and although you need to handle raw chicken correctly in order to prevent illness, it makes a great protein source for meals when camping, especially for dinner. You can get away with lighter fare for breakfast and lunch, but when dinner rolls around, you’d better have something substantial in the works for hungry stomachs that have been enjoying nature all day! Here are just a couple easy to prepare chicken dinners you can make in your dutch oven. Don’t forget that your dutch oven cooking can always be simplified by preparing and measuring ingredients at home, and cleanup can be minimized by using aluminum foil or parchment liners when baking.
Camp Chicken and Dumplings – Serves 6-8
1 lb boneless chicken breasts
1 bag baby carrots
6 stalks of celery
6 medium potatoes
1 tube of ready-made biscuits
1 Tbsp oil for cooking
1.5 c water
salt and pepper
spoon or ladle
*Note: You can ditch the knife and cutting board if you chop your veggies and chicken ahead of time at home!
- Prepare your coals. You’ll only be using coals on the bottom for this recipe, so the amount doesn’t matter as much, just be sure they are well-stoked.
- If you didn’t prepare your meats and veggies at home, chop them all into bite sized pieces.
- Pour oil into dutch oven and place over coals to heat.
- When ready, add chicken and cook until it just begins to brown.
- Add 1 c water and all vegetables to the dutch oven and stir. Cover with lid and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove lid. Add 2 cans cream of chicken soup and a little water to create a gravy-like consistency.
- Replace lid and simmer another 15 minutes. Your vegetables should be tender at this point.
- Add the biscuits to the stew, evenly placed on top so the entire surface is covered as much as possible.
- Replace lid once more, and stew for 15-20 minutes.
- No need for side dishes — just serve everyone a bowl and watch a food coma set in 30 minutes later!
Chicken Enchilada Pie – Serves 6-8
2 lbs boneless chicken pieces, chopped
1 pkg corn tortillas
1 lb shredded jalapeno or Colby Jack cheese
2 10 oz cans enchilada sauce (hot or mild — it’s your choice!)
2 8 oz cans diced green chiles
1 medium onion, diced
1 c water
2 Tbsp oil
garnishes (olives, green onions, sour cream, diced tomatoes…)
serving spoon or ladle
knife or spatula
- Prepare about 20 coals. This time the heat will be focused on the top, rather than below.
- Heat oil in dutch oven on coals until hot, and cook chicken until it browns.
- Add the enchilada sauce, tomato soup, onions, green chiles, and 1 c water to the cooked chicken, stir, and cover with lid, simmering for 5 minutes.
- Remove lid, and pour 3/4 of the sauce into the bowl. Spread the remaining 1/4 around the bottom of the dutch oven.
- Begin to place the corn tortillas, evenly spaced, on top of the sauce. Spoon sauce on top of the tortillas, and then a layer of cheese. Repeat until the cheese and sauce have been used up.
- Rearrange your coals so that 6-7 remain on the ground. Place the dutch oven on the coals, with the lid on, and place the remaining 13-14 coals on the lid.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is perfectly melty. Don’t forget to let it sit for about 5 minutes after taking it off the coals — that sauce will scald like lava!