Trail Food: Chicken Curry and Couscous

Here’s a trail food recipe that should bring some spice back into your back country cooking. Curry powder imparts a nice yellow color to this meal in addition to its distinctive flavor, while red and yellow bell peppers and carrots add to the eye appeal.

Trail Food Recipe- Chicken Curry and Couscous

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Curry Chicken and Rice

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

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 cup

1 small Apple, peeled and diced, approximately ½ cup

3 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:

  1. 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.)
  2. Combine curry, chili, and milk powders with salt in a snack size Ziploc® bag.
  3. Keep chicken in original pouch.

On the Trail:

  1. Combine vegetables with water in pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add chicken, including juices, apples, powdered milk and seasonings. Stir and return to boil.
  3. Add couscous, stir, and extinguish stove. Let meal sit for ten minutes with lid on pot.

Quick Tips:

  • Boil the vegetables for less than a minute. They finish cooking while the pot sits off the 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.

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Additional Comments:

I cooked this meal in a 1.3 liter Evernew™ ECA 418 Titanium pot with fry pan lid. The fry pan lid served as Dominique’s plate and I ate out of the pot.

If you prefer cooking and eating out of a freezer bag, boiling only the vegetables in the pot will leave the pot relatively clean. Add the boiled water and vegetables to the other ingredients in the freezer bag, stir, and wait ten minutes. Insulate the freezer bag with a fleece garment or custom made cozy bag.

Dominique and I compromise on salt and heat. She thought the recipe could use more salt, and we added a few shakes to the meal after it was cooked. We made the recipe with 1 tsp of chili powder the first time and only ½ tsp of chili powder the second time. I liked the full tsp, but she preferred the ½ tsp. We’ll split the difference next time.

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.

Visit BackpackingChef.com to see a Curry Chicken and Rice recipe which uses dried ingredients or get curried away with Erika Klimecky’s Curried Salmon Salad Sandwich recipe.

 

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About the author

I am the food dehydrating chef behind BackpackingChef.com and I put out the monthly newsletter, Trail Bytes. Drying hundreds of tasty homemade meals for section hikes on the Appalachian Trail led to my e-book, Recipes for Adventure. Come see me.

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