Camping gone Classy…"Rustic" Chicken Fajitas
“Come on baby, light my fire.” -Jim Morrison
|I bet you’ve never seen Martha Stewart like this.|
I didn’t grow up camping. My siblings and I weren’t terribly athletic or rugged, and my mom always said that she “didn’t want to sleep with her face in the dirt, thanks.” So, my family vacations were more “naps on the beach” than “outdoor adventures.” It wasn’t until recently that I developed an interest in camping. And by recently, I mean last year when the guy I had just started dating suggested we go on a camping trip together. I said that camping sounded like a great idea. Then I hung up and sent an email to all my friends saying the relationship was doomed. I mean, clearly this guy didn’t know me AT ALL. As I have said, I was never overly outdoorsy…I enjoy things like beds and showers and not wearing hiking boots. Consequently, the thought of spending a week in a tent with a guy I was still trying to impress seemed risky at best.
Shopping for that camping trip did nothing to alleviate my anxiety. I tried to see it as something fun and exciting, but mostly I was terrified. Headlamps, and camp stoves, and windbreakers, oh my! I basically let the boy pick out most of the actual “gear,” while I focused on finding the least offensive hiking boots possible. Then I packed my backpack and prayed for a miracle.
We camped the first night on Lake Tahoe, which was awesome, and we ate dehydrated macaroni and cheese for dinner, which was not. It was a dining experience I remember very distinctly in its terribleness. After that first meal, I took control of our culinary destiny. I decided if I was going to camp, I was going to do it in style, and we were not going to eat freeze-dried meals ever again. EVER. After all, we were car camping, not climbing Everest. I set to work experimenting with different things that I could make on the camp stove (which was a Jetboil, the best creation ever) with real, hydrated food. I think it was night number three when things really turned around. We sat down to a dinner of chicken fajitas, and I thought to myself, “well isn’t this classy?” It was. Not long after dinner, I realized something very unexpected… I liked camping, and I LOVED that Jetboil. Incidentally, I also look kind of cute in flannel.
This year, I was genuinely excited when that same guy asked me to go camping with him. Yours truly packed up her best flannels and her JetBoil and set out for Yellowstone with high hopes. Adventures were had, fish were caught, wolves were spotted, and feasts were rustled up using just a few ingredients, a pocket-knife, and my trusty Jetboil. I managed some pretty sweet meals last week, but chicken fajitas remained the favorite. Call me sentimental. These babies are quick and delicious, and you can toss any leftover vegetables with eggs to make a fancy scramble the next morning. Camping just got a whole lot classier. For the record, these fajitas are also a good weeknight dinner staple at home.*
|You too can make someone this happy with these fajitas. Beer recommended.|
*And if you want some outdoor ambience…turn out all the lights in your apartment, cook in a flannel shirt, light a citronella candle, crack a beer, and enjoy.
“Rustic” Chicken Fajitas: (Serves 2)
Preparing your Fajitas:
-Slice your chicken into medium sized pieces about ½ inch in thickness. You can do this right on the packaging the chicken came in (we’re trying to minimize mess -here).
-Place the chicken in a ziploc bag and add the lime juice, Cholula, garlic powder, and salt. Shake it up to make sure the chicken is coated with marinade and toss the bag in the cooler for at least a half hour. Have a beer or something.
-Thinly slice your bell peppers and onions.
-Place your vegetables in a pan over your camp stove with a little salt. Saute until they are tender, about ten minutes.
-If they are cooking too slowly (this sometimes happens on such a tiny stove), add a couple tablespoons of water and cover the pan with tin foil. When the vegetables are cooked, place them on a plate/bowl and cover tightly with tinfoil while you cook your chicken.
|Voila! You’re very own steamer. You’re practically Macgyver.|
-Pour your chicken and marinade into the pan. Saute until chicken is cooked through (About 5 minutes).
-Add cooked vegetables to the chicken and heat through for a minute or two.
-Wrap your corn tortillas in tin foil and throw them on the grill right over your campfire for a couple of minutes to heat them. (If you’re doing this at home, just toss them in the microwave…not in tin foil, OBVIOUSLY).
-Top your tortillas with warm chicken and vegetables and top with guacamole, cheese, and salsa. Fajitas in a flash!
|There is no shame in store-bought reinforcements. Especially when in “the wild.”|
Camper’s Guacamole: (Serves 2)
Preparing your guacamole:
-In a small bowl, smash your avocado with a fork until smooth.
-Add lime juice, the finely chopped red onion, and garlic powder and mix well.
-Salt to taste.
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