Ground chicken works best. Lightly brown breaking up all the chunks with a fork. Dehydrate on leather sheets, bag and store in refrigerator.
Dried chicken. Not as successful as dry chunks tend to not rehydrate well and remain chewy. Buy cans of chicken at Costco and use fruit roll liner trays. Don’t bother to drain the chicken. The liquid will dehydrate and add a little more flavor to the final product. Break up the chunks as small as possible. This is so it will both dehydrate and rehydrate quickly. If you leave large chunks, the chicken can be chewy when rehydrated. Set the dehydrator to 145-150 and let the dehydrator run. It will take 6-8 hours, so be patient. You do not want any wet spots.
Cashew-Ginger Chicken and Rice
Thia Mango Chicken and Rice
Chicken with Chinese Ginger Lemon Sauce
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Curry and Couscous
Cashew Chicken Noodles
Slow-Cooker Chicken Mole
Thai Red Curry with Chicken
!. CURRY. Prepackage at home. Use Just Tomatoes rehydrated vegetables.
½ lb dehydrated chicken (rehydrate at breakfast), 2 tbsp onion, 1 tbsp each green pepper, red pepper, carrot, peas, coconut powder, curry powder, salt, pepper
2. GINGERED STIR-FRY. Prepackage first row at home.
½ lb dehydrated chicken or pork – 2 tbs onion, 1 tbs red pepper, green pepper, peas, carrot, ginger, garlic to taste
add 25 ml oyster sauce, 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp chili garlic oil
serve with rice or rice noodles.
3. CASHEW-GINGER CHICKEN and RICE
At home: toast 1 cup cashews (or almonds), zip lock. Mix 1 cup instant brown rice, 2/3 cup freeze-dried corn (or home-dried savoy cabbage and carrots), 1 cup thinly sliced dry shiitake mushrooms, ½ cup onion flakes, zip lock.
Also pack: 1 (10-ounce) can of chicken, 2 (1-ounce) packets of Thai Coconut Ginger Soup Mix paste
In camp: place dry mix, chicken, and 1 packet seasoning in pot and cover with
water; mix well. Bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes; taste; add more seasoning?
4. THAI MANGO CHICKEN and RICE Serves 1
1/3 pouch chicken (or 3 tablespoons dried)
1/3 cup instant rice
3 tablespoons chopped dried mango
1 tablespoon dried bell pepper
1 tablespoon coconut crème powder, available at variety Asian markets.
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
At home: combine everything in a zip lock (If using dried chicken, add it with the dry ingredients). If you don’t have a dehydrator or don’t want to bother with this step, substitute in a pouch of chicken. Or use canned chicken. Just add it to meal after it has been rehydrated.
At camp: place bag in a cozy. Add just enough water to cover. Let stand 5-10 minutes. Stir in the chicken and serve.
At camp, add just enough hot water to cover all of the ingredients. Stir well and let stand for 5-10 minutes or until rehydrated. Stir again and eat. If you don’t want to eat out of a plastic bag, you can rehydrate the meal right in the pan or your bowl.
When I prepare backcountry meals, I never make just one at a time. I set up an assembly line and make 4-6. Put out several bowls and measure each ingredient of the recipe into them. Then dump each dry meal into a zip locking freezer bag. Regular sandwich bags are thin but work if handled carefully. Label and date the bags with a Sharpie. Now you have several backcountry meals, ready to grab and go.
5. CHICKEN with CHINESE GINGER LEMON SAUCE Serves 1-2
At home: bag dash of Five Spice powder, granulated, garlic, black pepper, 1 tsp. powdered ginger, 1 tsp. dry onion, 1 cube chicken bullion, crushed, 1 tsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. lemonade powder, 1 tsp. cornstarch
Also take: 7 oz. pouch chicken, 1 pkg. soy sauce
At camp: combine all but meat with 1 cup boiling water and shake to mix well.
Add meat and put in a cozy for 10 minutes.
Serve over instant rice, or instant mashed potatoes.
Optional: For a real treat, replace powdered ginger with a chunk of candied ginger, diced. Also, 1 cup of dry sherry is nice to add.
6. CHICKEN GUMBO Serves 2.
1 cup Instant brown rice
1/4 cup Onion, dehydrated
1/4 cup Bell pepper, dehydrated
1/4 cup Corn, dehydrated
1/2 cup Okra, dehydrated
1/4 cup Tomato sauce leather
1/2 cup Chicken or sausage, dehydrated (shredded or ground chicken dehydrates the best)
Spices: 1/2 tsp Garlic, 1/2 tsp Basil, 1/4 tsp Thyme, 1/2 tsp Pepper, 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper, 2 Bouillon cubes
At home: Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart ziplock bag.
On the Trail: Combine all ingredients with the 3 cups of water in pot and soak for five minutes. Light stove, bring to a boil, and continue cooking with the lid on for one minute. Remove pot from stove and wait ten minutes. Insulate pot if possible.
7. CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp garam masala spice mix
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp chili powder
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
½ cup ground chicken
¼ cup dehydrated cooked basmati rice
2 tbsp whole milk powder (Nestle Nido)
At home: Saute chopped onions and ground chicken in olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger, cook 2-3 minutes. Add water if starts to burn. Add all the spices and heat for another minute. Add diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 10 minutes.
Cool slightly. Dehydrate at 52C/125F for 8-10 hours until brittle. Break up the pieces and store in a zip-lock bag.
On trail: Rehydrate with 1 cup water and bring to boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Cover and let stand another 5 minutes to rehydrate meal completely.
8. CHICKEN CURRY and COUSCOUS Serves 2
⅔ cup Couscous
1 – 7-ounce pouch Chicken
1 large Red Bell Pepper or ½ each of a red and yellow Bell Pepper, approximately 1 cup diced
1 large Carrot, thinly sliced, approximately ½ cut
1 small Apple, peeled and diced, approximately ½ cu3 Tbsp Powdered Milk, (NIDO® brand whole milk powder works well)
2 tsp Curry Powder
½ tsp Chili Powder
¼ tsp Salt
2 Cups Water
At Home: Pre-cut and pack vegetables in a snack size Ziploc® bag, separate from other ingredients. (For camping, you could pack the vegetables whole and cut them up in camp, but pack the apple whole.) Combine curry, chili, and milk powders with salt in a snack size Ziploc® bag. Keep chicken in original pouch.
In Camp: Combine vegetables with water in pot and bring to a boil for less than a minute (they finish cooking while the pot sits off the stove). Add chicken, including juices, apples, powdered milk and seasonings. Stir and return to boil. Add couscous, stir, and extinguish stove. Couscous absorbs water rapidly and may scorch to the bottom of the pot if you try to “cook” it with the stove on. Add the couscous to the boiling water last and extinguish the stove.
Let meal sit for ten minutes with lid on pot.
Since this recipe uses fresh ingredients, it is ideally suited for trips where it will be eaten within a day or two. If you need to preserve food for a longer haul or when you want to reduce weight and volume, use ½ cup dehydrated canned chicken, ½ cup dried vegetables and ¼ cup dried apples. Increase water by ½ cup. Soak the dried ingredients for five minutes before you light the stove.
9. CASHEW CHICKEN NOODLES Serves 2
2 serving of Asian cellophane noodles (you can also use several top ramen packaged noodles)
¼ cup Jerky or 6 oz. of packaged chicken (found in tuna section of store)
¼ cup dehydrated mixed veggies
1 Tbs. curry you can also use curry paste and avoid some of the spices below.
1/2 tsp of cumin
½ tsp. ground ginger
1 1/2 Tbs. coconut powder
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons of cashews
2 tablespoons of pre-chopped cilantro (optional)
Note if short on spices, you can also use the flavorings in the ramen packages.
At Home: Combine all the seasonings and coconut powder in one container.
At camp: Add about 1 ½ cups boiling water to baggie. Mix it around and let it
sit for 10 minutes, or until everything is soft. Add cashews and cilantro before serving.
10. SLOW-COOKER CHICKEN MOLE
This recipe produces a thick, savory, chocolatey-nutty puree which is a great departure from normal backpacking fare! Serve at camp over instant rice, or you can just rehydrate the sauce and eat it plain with a tortilla.
1 large onion
1/2 cup raisins
3 garlic cloves
2t ancho chile powder (or more to taste)
2t chipotle chile powder (or more to taste)
1C roasted almonds plus 2T slivered almonds to add just before serving
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1t ground cinnamon
1t ground cumin
1/2t ground coriander
1/8t ground nutmeg
3T unsweetened cocoa powder
4 skin-on chicken thighs – approx 4 (I usually leave the skin on for a backpacking meal to increase the fat content)
1T fresh cilantro, or 2t dried
At home: Put the roasted almonds into the food processor and puree until very fine. Cut the onion in quarters and add to the almond puree in the food processor along with all the other ingredients and pulse until it is a uniform, thick puree. Season more with chili powder, sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Put the chicken thighs uncooked into the bottom of the slow cooker and pour the puree on top. Set the slow cooker to cook the food on low for 4-6 hours. Check it at the 4 hour mark and stir to prevent burning of the food around the edges – though you do want to see carmelization. When the chicken thigh meat is falling off the bones and shredding on its own into thin shreds, and the puree has carmelized nicely, take a slotted spoon and fish out and discard the thigh bones. Serve the mole over rice with a sprinkle of the slivered almonds, a dollop of sour cream (optional), and fresh cilantro .
Dehydrate: To prepare the leftovers for the dehydrator, puree briefly in the food processor until the pieces are small and fairly uniform. Measure out the number of 1.5-2C servings that will fit on each solid plastic fruit leather tray. Run the dehydrator overnight and check the mixture for completeness of drying in the morning To package, pulse the dry mixture in the food processor to break up the chunks, and then measure out the dried servings into individual zip-loc bags based on your pre-drying measurements (how many servings went onto each tray).
At camp. Rehydrate in a lock box at lunchtime.
Sour cream powder and mix with a little water and dried cilantro to put on top of your mole before serving on the trail for an extra, cold-hot contrast.
11. THAI RED CURRY with CHICKEN
At home: Saute red pepper strips, red onion slices and julienned carrots in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet until crisp-tender. Set aside and (if desired) saute small chunks of chicken in the same pan until cooked mostly through (can still be a little pink). Return the vegies to the pan, dump in a 15-oz can of coconut milk (full-fat kind), 1 can of sliced water chestnuts, 1C of fresh or frozen peas or edamame, 2T of red curry paste, 2T of Thai fish sauce, 2T of brown sugar, and some ginger or Chinese Five Spice. Cook down the sauce for 45 minutes or so until reduced by about 1/3.
In a separate pan or microwave rice cooker, cook a cup of dry jasmine rice in a cup of water until the rice is tender. Half of this recipe will serve 2, and the other half will provide a meal for 2 on the trail.
Dehydrate: Pulse in the food processor until the pieces were small and uniform (< 1/2 inch). Dehydrate and pulse till as powdery as possible for quicker rehydration and a thicker sauce.