One very important thing about camping, doesn’t matter where you are or where you’re going, is your food. Most of the time you’re not going to be anywhere near a supermarket or drive through fast food restaurant, so all the food you need you will have to take with you from the start.
But that shouldn’t limit your choice of foods to cans and bottles. Hell no, if you can keep your food fresh and edible for your trip, and keep it away from the wildlife then you can have a feast.
A great meal to start with is chicken or other white meats as they don’t last as long as red meats. There are several ways to keep your chook fresh, but one of the best ways is to get the butcher to vacuum or cryo seal them. What this does is force all the oxygen from the plastic bag and seals it, meaning nothing gets in like germs and bacteria and nothing gets out likes juices.
Now, in the outback or Aussie wilds there are several ways to cook yourself a good meal. One way is the Bedourie Oven, designed by stockman at Bedourie station in Western Australia. It doubles as oven and a frying pan, is made of spun steel so is lightweight and won’t crack when packed away in a car or saddlebag.
For today’s Camp Cooking we’re looking at making a Lemon Chicken in the Bedourie Oven, which takes about 15 minutes of prep time and an hour to an hour and a half to cook. So first of all butterfly your chicken but cutting it right down the middle of the breast and right through, then opening them right up and draining away any juices or fluids inside, before popping them in the oven with the opened breast at the bottom. Next take around 12 lemons, depending on the size of your oven and the amount of people you’re feeding. Squeeze out the juice into a bowl then place the peel into the over around the chicken, then add six cloves of rough cut fresh garlic, pour in the lemon juice, add a cup of parsley, 2 tablespoons of olive oil a table spoon of sea salt and cayenne pepper and some black pepper and you’re good to go.
To cook make sure you’ve got yourself a good fire with a good bed of ashes. Takes some of the ashes and make a new pile, then throw the oven on top; to ensure an even cook in the oven take a shovel and pile some ash on top of the oven. If you’re cooking this at home pop the chook in the oven at 180 degrees for around an hour to an hour and 15 minutes.
While you wait, if you’re the nervous or impatient cooker wondering how it’s going in the oven a little trick you could do is put the shovel on top of the oven by the end and put the handle end to your ear. This should allow you to hear what’s going on in the oven.
Once the hour is up pop the lid off, careful not to burn yourself, and have a look. The chicken should be a nice golden brown sitting a pool of slow bubbling lemon juice with the lemon peels maybe a slight brown or black around the edges. Carefully take it out of the oven and serve either on its own or with a side dish; mughrabi couscous makes a wonderful side dish to this beautiful meal.