There’s hardly anything better than friends gathered around a campfire. Throw some tasty, warm drinks in the mix and a meal prepared over an open flame, and we contest that there’s a formula for winning winter.
Break out your cast iron, throw some dry wood into the back of your car, gather your friends, and try one of our favorite campfire treats! Oh, you may notice that there’s a distinct bourbon theme that runs through our favorite campfire recipes. That’s no coincidence. And we know you’ll probably already have a bottle in tow anyways.
1. Chipotle Bourbon & Garlic Oysters
This drool-worthy decadence is surprisingly easy, amazingly Instagram worthy, and the perfect warm-up for the rest of your campfire meal. This recipe is courtesy of Hog Island Oysters out of California, but comes recommended by Lilliwaup’s own Hama Hama Oysters. We trust those guys. If you’re a newbie, check out Hama Hama’s general tips for grilling oysters.
2 dozen Hama Hama oysters
½ lb (two sticks) unsalted butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup bourbon
¾ cup finely chopped garlic
Half a can of 10 oz. chopped chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
How to make chipotle butter:
We love this recipe because you can prep the butter at home and bust it out when you’re ready to throw the oysters on the grill. The butter requires at least an hour to chill so be sure to plan ahead.
Dissolve the brown sugar into the bourbon. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well until a lumpy texture is achieved and all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Lay out a piece of parchment paper, pile butter into the center and wrap into a ‘log’. When finished, it should be just shorter than a foot and about two inches in diameter. Refrigerate.
How to cook oysters on the grill:
This one requires a pit fire with a grill. The good news is that there are a number of quaint and quiet campsites with fire pits. Build your fire so that the flames don’t quite reach all the way up to the grate. Shuck your oysters, and place them on the grill with a ¼ inch pat of your chipotle butter. Once the oysters and butter are bubbling, remove them from the grill, let them cool for a hot second, cheers and enjoy.
2. Bourbon Glazed Chicken
This recipe is from one of our favorite road trip read-throughs: “Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors” by Robin Donovan. If you’re looking for a tasty side to go with your bourbon-infused campfire feast, we recommend the White Beans with Chanterelles, or the Maple-Glazed Yams from her book. Mmm.
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/3 cup bourbon
3 tbs. brown sugar
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
juice of ½ lemon
salt & pepper
This recipe is easy to prepare from home as well, but for theatrics’ sake, it’s pretty fun to pound the chicken breast with your bottle of bourbon at the campsite. All that’s required on the front end is to mix all the ingredients well, pound the chicken breasts in a separate bag, and marinade all together for at least an hour.
When you’re ready to grill (this requires a campfire with a grate as well), remove the chicken from the marinade and place on the grill, cooking for 5 to 7 minutes on each side. While the chicken is cooking, put the rest of the marinade into a cast iron skillet and boil for at least 5 minutes. Allow for it to thicken. Spoon bourbon glaze over the top, and serve immediately.
Shorter days and colder weather are no excuses for not taking advantage of the year-round glory that is the Olympic National Park. We’ll see you out there. And until then, see you on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.