Check out other cooking blog posts by Wolf College wilderness chef Charles Borrowman including How to Cook for Backpacking Trips and more.
When on a backcountry wilderness or backpacking expedition, it doesn’t take much more than the thought of yet another night of eating half soggy, half crunchy freeze-dried disaster to wrinkle one’s nose up in disgust. Thankfully, all it takes is a few lightweight and easy to pack ingredients to rescue you from eating $10 a pop astronaut cuisine or that MRE (Meal Ready to Eat) you packed that was likely left over from who knows when. Rice pilaf is by far one of the easiest and tastiest dishes to prepare in the back country, and the best part is, anyone can make it!
Backcountry Rice Pilaf Ingredients by Charles Borrowman
- 1-2 pouches chunk chicken meat (drained, optional)
- 1 white or yellow onion (diced)
- 2-5 cloves garlic
- 1 cup Minute Rice
- 1 cup orzo
- 2-4 cups water
- Chicken or vegetable bouillon (Depending on the brand of bouillon used, enough to turn the water to broth. Usually 1-2 tsp. per cup)
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried marjoram
- Salt to taste
- Cooking oil
Rice Pilaf Preparation
Over a camp stove or bed of coals, heat a camp pot or pan over medium high heat. Add oil to the bottom of the pan and wait until the oil begins to shimmer. Add the onions to the pot and cook until they begin to clarify. Add the garlic in its own spot to the pot and cook until opaque and fragrant. Stir in the dried herbs, followed by the Minute Rice and orzo. Toast the rice and orzo very briefly for about 30 seconds. Add the water and bouillon to the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat if possible with your heating method and simmer, stirring constantly to prevent the bottom from scorching. Continue to reduce the liquid, stirring constantly until it’s almost gone and becomes a creamy sauce. Stir in the chicken meat if desired. Season with salt to taste. Enjoy.
Charles Borrowman is a graduate of the French Culinary Institute of San Jose, California and a lead instructor with Wolf Camp and the Wolf College. He runs our Backcountry Gourmet Camp Cooking Classes, runs the camp kitchen during our Backpacking into Wolf Country Outdoor Leadership Training Expedition in June, teaches during our Survival, Herbology, Tracking, Scout & Artisan Camps in July, leads our Epic Fishing Camp in August, and co-teaches our Honorable Hunting & Fishing Expedition in September.