The first camping trip of the season is a welcomed return to the outdoor lifestyle. Now that the days are growing longer, we can finally break out our camping gear, load up the vehicle, and drive off for a relaxing weekend in the wild. Yet, despite our optimism for the new season, spring weather can be less than cooperative. Actually, far less than cooperative.
Our first trip of the season was in mid-March and during those two days it was sunny and warm, then overcast and rainy, then snow flurries, then rainy, then sunny again. This sort of bait-and-switch manic weather pattern is classic spring, but it also makes getting back into the swing of camping particularly challenging. So in order to remove one variable from this already turbulent situation, we decided to make kebabs for dinner. From a conceptual standpoint, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. Skewer things you want to eat on a stick and place it over a fire. If you want, you can pre-marinade at home or on-site.
Of course, kebabs can be anything you want, and we wanted ours to capture our optimism for spring. Chicken, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and green onions, marinated in a blend of olive oil, basil, parsley, garlic, and lemon. When roasted over the fire, all these flavors came together to make us think of a bright and cheerful summer afternoon. Each bite made us more excited for all the new adventures that await us in the season to come. We took solace in that optimistic feeling, because as soon as we took the kebabs off the grill it started pouring rain. C’est la vie.
So if you want to capture the sporadic spirit of spring, trying making kebabs on your first camping trip of the season.
Chicken & Spring Vegetable Kebabs
Yield: 4-6 kebabs
Cook time: 10 minutes / Inactive prep time: 1+ hours
For the marinade:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup chopped basil
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 teaspoon salt
To build the skewers:
- ½ pound chicken (boneless, skinless thighs work best), cut into 1 inch pieces
- 8 ounces whole mushrooms
- 8 ounces cherry tomatoes
- 2-3 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
4-6 skewers, either metal or wood. If using wood, soak in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling to prevent them from burning.
Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl or ziplock bag. Add the chicken pieces and thoroughly coat. Cover the bowl or seal the bag and marinate for at least an hour. This step can be done at home ahead of time–just put the sealed bag in your cooler.
Fire up your grill or get your campfire going. You’ll be cooking the kebabs over medium-high to high heat.
Build the kebabs by threading the chicken and vegetables onto your skewers, alternating ingredients.
Grill the kebabs over medium-high to high heat, turning occasionally so they cook evenly until the chicken is cooked through–about 10 minutes total.