After a long day of hiking, riding, climbing, surfing, doing pretty much anything strenuous and returning to camp, we’re so hungry we’d eat the bark off trees and be satisfied. That’s to say simple, easy, and fast are often paramount when it comes to camp cooking. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make recipes with well-developed flavors too. Like this claypot chicken recipe from Stephanie Le at I am a Food Blog. Claypot chicken is easy at camp the more work you do at home. You can dice the chicken ahead of time and freeze it, for example, making camp cleanup easier.
This recipe works either over a campstove or a fire, if you have a pot that can handle it—the smoke taste imparted to the rice is amazing. Note: if you can’t find Chinese sausage in your local store, you can substitute ham or a sweeter dried sausage. Chinese sausage, called Lap Cheong, is much sweeter than salami, though that can be used in a pinch.
oil, for the pan
2 chicken chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 links Chinese sausage, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup rice of choice
1/4 cup sliced wood ear mushrooms
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon shaoxing wine
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
1.5 cups water
sliced green onions for garnish
chili flakes, if desired
Mix the sauce ingredients (soy, oyster, wine, sesame oil, and sugar) at home and put in a container for the trip. At camp, break out a cast iron dutch oven or other pot that can handle high heat. Add a bit of oil to the pot and, once hot, introduce the chicken and sausage and fry until lightly browned. Toss in the garlic, let soften and become fragrant, then add the rice, mushrooms, half of the prepared sauce, and the water. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Let the liquid come to a boil then bring down the heat from a burner to low, if using, or move the pot to cooler part of a fire, cover and let simmer lightly for 18-20 minutes. Remove from heat, let rest with lid on for five minutes, then remove the lid, mix and fluff with a fork. Serve with chopped green onions, the rest of the prepared sauce, and chili flakes.