Play Video

Campground gourmet

Cast Iron Mediterranean Chicken Meal with Kate Dunbar of the Campground Gourmet - includes downloadable recipe.

Hi everyone, I’m Kate Dunbar for “Rollin’ On TV.” Today, I’m teaching you a cast iron Mediterranean chicken meal. This is something that’s going to have your friends and families craving for seconds, so you better make extra. And I love to use chicken thighs when I’m cooking with cast iron, especially at the campground, because it’s dark meat. And if you cook it a little bit longer than you’re supposed to, maybe you know, you’ve had an extra cocktail or maybe a kid’s learning how to ride a bike; with dark meat, it’s okay. You’ve got this window where it’s still going to be flavorful and tender and juicy. And what I want to do is take some olive oil and just drizzle it over the top, maybe about a teaspoon per chicken thigh. You know, just turn it over, rub each piece around in the olive oil because you want all the spices and seasonings to stick right on the skin and not get left all over the piece of parchment paper here.

I’ve mixed up a seasoning blend with rosemary and dried lemon, oregano, salt, pepper, a little bit of red chili flake, and some garlic powder, those great Mediterranean flavors. And I’m just going to sprinkle it over the top. Now, we’re going to flip these over because we want our chicken to be seasoned on both sides. We have our chicken seasoned and oiled. I have all of the vegetables all chopped. And my fire, it’s ready, so let’s move on over there and get to cooking.


Okay, so here I am over my hot, hot fire. Oh my goodness, this is screaming, and that’s exactly how you need this fire to be. Have your tongs ready, your chicken’s already seasoned, and we’ve got our olive oil. We’re going to add in about two tablespoons to it. It’s already bubbling away. There we go, it’s bubbling and sizzling away. We’re going to put the chicken in skin side down, place it in the oil, and then bring it out to the size and just leave it alone. So, we want to let this go for about three minutes. I don’t want to touch it. I want that skin to start to crisp and brown, and then we’re going to turn it over and do the exact same thing on the other side, about three to five minutes.

Okay, it’s been about three minutes. All I can smell right now is olive oil and rosemary and oregano and pepper, and that dried lemon peel. That’s the trick here, you don’t want to add fresh lemon zest to this. You want to add the dried because the fresh is going to have too much moisture in it and too many oils, and those can burn. But with the dried lemon peel, it’s perfect. ‘Cause remember, these are just seared, these are not cooked all the way, these chicken thighs. And I want to remove them and just set them aside for a few minutes.

So, now let’s get ready to add in our onions. I have one chopped onion here, large chunks, nothing small. So, I’ve got the onions going, now it’s time to add in the potatoes. Now remember, I’ve par-cooked these. If you cook them to the point where they’re just fork tender, take them out of the boiling water, and let them cool. Then all you have to do is put them into a container or a zip-locked bag and get it into your freezer, and then you can take it to the campground, and they’re practically cooked. It’s a way of saving time. All right, next we’re going to add in our green beans. I love these, these are fresh. I picked them up at a farmers market.

Now, let’s add in a pinch of our seasoning because you want to season as you go. Let’s add in two fresh sprigs of rosemary, it’s totally optional. Well, I’m going to let this cook for about five minutes, and then we’re going to add the chicken back in and a couple other ingredients, and finish this dish.

All right, let’s add back in that chicken. Okay, let’s just nestle that right in. Now, since we’ve already seared it, it only has about 20 minutes more to cook. So, this is a meal that you can have ready in about 40, 45 minutes for your family. Now, let’s add in our other ingredients. I have some fresh tomatoes, these are whole little cherry tomatoes. I’m just going to sprinkle these over the top. I’ve got some sliced and the pits have been removed from these Kalamata olives. Sprinkle these over to the top, this is definitely a Mediterranean addition to your meal. And I have three cloves of garlic that I’ve chopped. Why am I adding it now and not at the beginning? Well, that olive oil was really hot in this pan. And there was a chance that the garlic would burn, and that would add a tremendous amount of bitter flavor. We don’t want that. And I’m adding in about a half a cup of chicken stock. Now, if you want to add some additional flavor, add in about a quarter cup of white wine and then a quarter cup of chicken stock or water. It’s whatever you choose, and this will just help everything cook.


All right, ten minutes has passed, everything is bubbling away. Let’s give it a good stir and then we’re going to let it go another ten minutes, and then it’s going to be time to eat. I’m going to add in some fresh chopped parsley just for a bright green flavor. And then to finish off that Mediterranean flavor, I’m going to add in some feta cheese. Now, you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but it just adds a really creamy texture, and it’s a little salty, and it’s just perfect. It gives it a nice pop with that bright white. I think it’s fantastic.

Let me cut off a little bit of this chicken here. It’s so soft and tender. And remember that skin on top is nice and seared, and it stayed beautiful and golden. Mmm, oh my gosh, that’s so good. The oregano, the rosemary, the chili flake, the pepper, I’m getting that saltiness from the olives. This is fantastic, I’m going to try the olives and potatoes next. there’s something about a Kalamata olive when you cook it with a dish like this, it still retains some of that texture bite that it has. It doesn’t get soft and just kind of fade away. It stays there, it’s a great bite for you, mmm.

I’m Kate Dunbar, the campground gourmet for “Rollin’ On TV;” thank you for joining me today for this cast iron Mediterranean chicken meal. Keep cooking great memories, and I will see you at the campground, bye.