Wilderness Cuisine
by Carole Latimer
$13.95, Paperback
Wilderness Press

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Chicken Piccata

This is one of my favorite camp meals. You can even have it the first night of a backpacking trip if you're certain to insulate the chicken in your pack so it will stay well-chilled until you're ready to cook it in camp. It's quick and easy, takes very little pre-trip prep, and the pasta provides the carbohydrates that hikers crave. I serve it with a simple green salad and a good baguette.

Prep and cook time: 30 minutes

Makes: 4-6 servings

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/4 pounds)
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white wine
1/2 fresh lemon (to make 2 tablespoons lemon juice)
2 tablespoons capers
1 cup water
10 ounces fettucini, linguini, or spaghetti

At Home:

1. Slice boneless, skinless chicken breasts across the grain into finger-size strips. Package in a self-sealing plastic bag and freeze until ready to pack into camp cooler.

2. Package flour, salt, and pepper in gallon-size self-sealing plastic bag.

3. Pack flour mixture, chicken, and remaining ingredients.

In Camp:

1. Put thawed chicken strips in flour mixture in the self-sealing plastic bag. Seal and shake bag to completely coat each piece.

2. Heat olive oil and 3 tablespoons of butter in frying pan over medium heat until butter foams. Brown chicken in butter.

3. When chicken has browned, turn up heat to medium high briefly and add wine and lemon juice all at once and reduce to a thick sauce. Turn heat back down to medium. After about 5 minutes the sauce will be very thick; at this point incorporate the chicken broth or water into the sauce in order to thin it a bit and to yield more sauce. Remove from heat and stir in capers and remaining tablespoon of butter.

Serve over fettucini; if desired garnish with arugula.

© Copyright 1997 by Carole Latimer

The soul blossoms when you leave behind the expectations of everyday life, and meet the challenge of the outdoors with the support and enthusiasm of others.