I’m currently on the north coast of Barkley Sound. Three days ago I was on the South coast in Bamfield. My life over the last week has involved mainly surfing and fishing for halibut and salmon. I’ve scored on both accounts. Fishing was the best I’ve ever experienced, and a beautiful southwest swell has been dishing up consistent fun sized surf for the Tofino coastlines over the past three days. Today alone I logged about nine hours in the water. Since living in Vancouver, I’m like a crack addict when I get to surf, I never know when my next session will be so I make it count! Needless to say, life is good, but I’m exhausted!
Tonight I decided to document some of the food I’ve been making back at my little basecamp at Mussell Beach. Logging so much time surfing, I wanted something nourishing and satisfying due to the energy I’ve been expending. I decided on chicken with red wine sauce; simple, and easily accomplished with limited camping supplies. The results were delicious.
You can make this on a stove or on some coals. Although I’d love to, I didn’t have time to establish a good fire for coals, so I just used my backpacking stove and cast iron pan.
Note, the measurements and techniques in this recipe are very approximate, as they should be since I’m currently camping!
The setup, not a bad vantage point to make a delicious meal.
1 chicken breast
1 shallot, julienned
1 clove garlic
A half glass of red wine
A good knob of butter
A few new potatoes, sliced
1 sprig each of rosemary and tarragon, add some chives too if they’re handy
A few glugs of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Get your cast iron pan on medium-ish heat, then add some olive oil and the potatoes and sauté for ten minutes. Toss in some of the garlic and the rosemary, then season. Sauté for another 5 minutes or so, then transfer to a pot with a lid to hold and let them keep cooking for a while under their own heat.
2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Get the cast iron hot again, then place the chicken in the pan and monitor closely. It took me about 25 minutes of constant babysitting to get a good cook throughout without burning the chicken. Transfer to the pot with the potatoes to hold.
3. Get the cast iron pan to medium-high heat, then toss in the shallots and remaining garlic for 30 seconds. Add the red wine and let deglaze and reduce for a couple minutes, then add the butter and swirl the pan around to incorporate. Remove the pan from heat.
4. Add the potatoes and chicken back to the pan and add the tarragon and chives. Season again if needed, then eat directly out of the pan like this: