Skip to content
Shipping Australia Wide
Shipping Australia Wide
Classic Camp Oven Lemon Myrtle Chicken Recipe

Classic Camp Oven Lemon Myrtle Chicken Recipe

Classic Camp Oven Lemon Myrtle Chicken: A Flavourful Bush Cooking Recipe

Lemon Myrtle Chicken is a quintessential Australian dish that combines Australian ingredients with the hearty and traditional cooking method of using a camp oven. This flavourful and aromatic recipe provides a delightful culinary experience, perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and home cooks alike. The history and cultural significance of this dish make it a cherished addition to the rich tapestry of Australian cuisine.

The Origins of Lemon Myrtle

Lemon myrtle, scientifically known as Backhousia citriodora, is a native Australian plant revered for its fresh, citrusy flavour. Australians have long utilised lemon myrtle not only for its culinary applications but also for its medicinal properties. Its use dates back thousands of years, where it was incorporated into traditional diets and healing practices. Lemon myrtle became widely recognised in contemporary Australian cuisine in the late 20th century. Chefs and home cooks alike were drawn to its vibrant lemon scent and unique flavour, which provides a versatile culinary ingredient. It has since become a significant component of modern Australian cuisine, used in everything from teas and desserts to savoury dishes such as chicken.

The Tradition of Camp Oven Cooking

The camp oven, also known as a Dutch oven, is a versatile and durable cooking pot used extensively in Australian bush cooking. Its history can be traced back to the early European settlers who brought their cooking traditions with them. The camp oven was highly valued for its ability to withstand the rigours of the Australian outback and provide a reliable cooking method over open fires. Camp oven cooking remains a cherished practice among outdoor enthusiasts, providing a way to prepare hearty and flavourful meals in nature. The even heat distribution of the cast-iron pot allows for a variety of cooking techniques, including roasting, baking, and slow-cooking, making it ideal for dishes like Lemon Myrtle Chicken.

The Marriage of Flavours and Technique

**Lemon Myrtle Chicken** exemplifies the perfect marriage of Australian flavours and traditional bush cooking techniques. The distinctive lemon myrtle adds a distinctive tang to the chicken, while the camp oven ensures that the meat is tender and infused with the aromatic spices.
  • Aromatic and Fresh: Lemon myrtle imparts a fresh and zesty flavour to the chicken, balanced by the savoury notes of garlic, onion, and other herbs.
  • Moist and Tender: Cooking in a camp oven helps retain moisture, resulting in succulent and tender chicken. The even heat ensures that the dish is cooked thoroughly, with each bite bursting with flavour.
  • Versatile: Lemon Myrtle Chicken can be adapted to different cooking environments, whether you are preparing it over an open fire in the great outdoors or in a modern kitchen at home.
The dish embodies the essence of Australian bush cooking by utilising locally sourced ingredients and traditional cooking methods.

Cultural Significance

Lemon Myrtle Chicken is more than just a delicious meal; it embodies the rich cultural heritage of Australia. It serves as a reminder of the deep connection between the land and its people, celebrating Australian knowledge and culinary traditions. This dish also highlights the ingenuity of early settlers who adapted to their new environment by embracing native ingredients and cooking techniques. Today, Lemon Myrtle Chicken continues to be a favourite, representing a harmonious blend of history, culture, and flavour. It is often enjoyed during camping trips, family gatherings, and special occasions, bringing people together to share in its delightful taste and meaningful heritage. Encapsulating the spirit of Australian bush cooking, this classic dish offers a unique and flavourful experience that honours the traditions and innovations of Australia's diverse culinary landscape.

Classic Camp Oven Lemon Myrtle Chicken Recipe

Elevate your camping meal experience with this delicious and aromatic Classic Camp Oven Lemon Myrtle Chicken. Perfect for a cosy night around the campfire, this recipe combines the zesty flavour of lemon myrtle with tender chicken for an unforgettable dish.


  • 1 whole chicken (approximately 1.5 kg / 3.3 lbs)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon myrtle, ground
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil (30 ml / 1 fl oz)
  • 1 tablespoon of salt (15 g)
  • 1 teaspoon of black pepper (5 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of dried thyme (15 g)
  • 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika (15 g)
  • 1 cup of chicken stock (250 ml / 8.5 fl oz)
  • Fresh herbs (such as parsley or thyme), for garnish


  • Camp oven (Dutch oven)
  • Campfire or charcoal heat source
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Basting brush
  • Tongs


  1. Prepare the Chicken: Rinse the whole chicken under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the chicken on a cutting board.
  2. Seasoning Mix: In a mixing bowl, combine the ground lemon myrtle, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, black pepper, dried thyme, and smoked paprika. Mix well to form a paste.
  3. Apply Seasoning: Using your hands or a basting brush, generously coat the entire chicken inside and out with the seasoning paste. Ensure that the paste reaches all nooks and crannies for maximum flavour infusion.
  4. Stuff the Chicken: Insert the lemon slices into the cavity of the chicken. This will impart a subtle citrus aroma as the chicken cooks.
  5. Heat the Camp Oven: Place the camp oven over your campfire or charcoal heat source, ensuring it is preheated to medium heat (approximately 180°C / 350°F).
  6. Cook the Chicken: Pour the chicken stock into the bottom of the camp oven to create a moist cooking environment. Carefully place the seasoned chicken into the camp oven.
  7. Cover and Cook: Cover the camp oven with its lid. Cook for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, basting the chicken occasionally with the juices from the bottom of the oven. Use tongs to rotate the chicken to ensure even cooking. The chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 75°C / 165°F, and the juices run clear when pierced with a knife.
  8. Rest the Chicken: Once cooked, carefully remove the chicken from the camp oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a moist and tender chicken.
  9. Garnish and Serve: Garnish with fresh herbs such as parsley or thyme before serving. Carve the chicken and enjoy!


  • Heat Management: If using a campfire, manage the heat by adjusting the distance of the camp oven from the flames or adding/removing charcoal.
  • Alternative Herbs and Spices: Feel free to experiment with other herbs and spices to suit your taste preferences.
  • Side Dishes: Serve with roasted vegetables, campfire potatoes, or crusty bread for a complete meal.
Enjoy your Classic Camp Oven Lemon Myrtle Chicken, a perfect blend of campfire tradition and refined flavour. Bon appétit!
Previous article Traditional Camp Oven Damper Bread Recipe
Next article Authentic Camp Oven Shepherd's Pie Recipe

Gear up and go wild!

View All