When camping, you may have only the campfire to cook food. This usually requires that you -- or a specialty device -- hold a pot or pan over the fire for long periods of time. This work, however, can be eliminated by using foil packets and cooking your meal directly on the coals. The main precautions when using this method are to be wary of the immense heat involved and to make sure the food in the packet stays moist.
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Because you'll be throwing the foil packet directly onto the coals, heat is a concern. Always make sure you have a long stick, tongs or a fire-retardant mitt to remove the packet from the fire. Never attempt to remove the packet with your hands. Puncture the packet and allow it to release steam for several minutes before opening; this will reduce the risk of a steam burn. Use heavy foil or a double-layer of sheets to make sure that the pouch doesn't puncture and let in ash.
Keeping the Chicken Moist
Despite the fact that the foil packet will keep in some moisture, a lone chicken breast wrapped in foil will dry out when cooked over hot coals. To prevent this, coat the chicken breast in oil to help retain moisture, and add a little bit of oil to the packet. Cooking the chicken with vegetables, such as carrots, onions, potatoes and tomatoes, will add moisture to the cooking process as well.
Boy Scout Trail, a resource website for Cub and Boy Scouts, suggests soaking a paper towel in water then sandwiching it between two foil pieces to create the base of your packet. This should ensure even cooking and prevent your chicken from burning. Oil the foil and place your chicken to one side of the foil sheet. Arrange any vegetables on top, and season with salt and pepper as desired. Fold the foil over the chicken breast and tightly crimp the remaining sides to create a pouch.
Select a section of the campfire that has begun to die down, and where there are no active flames present. Place your packet directly onto the hot coals - visible flames will cause your chicken to burn. Cook it for about 15 minutes on one side; then, flip it and cook on the other side, until done. The chicken should be white and firm and have an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully remove the packet from the fire, puncture the foil film and let it rest for several minutes before serving.