Chicken in a Backpack with Dian Thomas

Chicken in a Backpack with Dian Thomas


  • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken
  • 18-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • 3 rocks
  • Tongs
  • Heavy Gloves
  • 2-inch stack of newspaper
  • 1 cup of barbeque sauce
  • 1 medium-sized backpack

What’s The Secret To Cooking A Chicken In Your Backpack ?
The secret is rocks that you can find anywhere in your campsite. You have to select the right kinds and sizes of rocks that will be heated to cook the chicken. Select rocks that are completely dry and have not been sitting in water or in a streambed. When wet rocks are heated they can pop open and even explode. Also, avoid using sandstone or limestone rocks, as they are too porous.

Select one rock that is the size of both your hands clasped together. This should fill the cavity of the chicken. Select two rocks the size of a loose open fist, for placing under the wings during cooking. Scrub the rocks with soap and water and thoroughly dry. (Don’t worry – the small amount of time the rocks are wet while being washed will not cause them to explode.) If you are concerned about the cleanliness of the rocks, wrap them in foil. Then build a campfire.

How Do We Get Them Hot Enough To Cook A Chicken?

Always wear heavy gloves when working with hot rocks. After cleaning the rocks, set them on the open fire and allow them to heat for 35-45 minutes. With tongs or a stick turn over the rocks and leave in the fire until they are thoroughly heated. Rocks can be heated on a very hot bed of charcoal briquettes, or over gas burners; turn the rocks frequently to heat them through evenly. How Do We Prepare For The Chicken?
While the rocks are heating, locate your two-inch pile of newspapers. Take each section of newspaper and open it as if you were reading the center pages. Stack the newspapers on top of each other until you have a one-inch stack.
What Size Chicken Do We Need?
You want around a 3-pound chicken that has been cleaned. Place it in the center of a sheet of 18" heavy-duty aluminum foil large enough to go around the chicken with about 7 inches left on each side. Place the foil over a one-inch layered stack of newspaper.
Where Do We Place The Rocks?
Stretch the cavity of the chicken. Use heavy gloves and tongs to insert the large rock inside of the cavity of the chicken. Place the smaller rocks, one under each wing. Check the rocks to see that they are sizzling and the chicken is beginning to cook. Heat from the rocks actually cooks the chicken. Pour 1 cup of barbeque sauce over the chicken.
How Do We Wrap The Chicken So That The Heat And The Sauce Doesn’t Escape?
Bring the foil sides together at the top of the chicken, roll into small folds, flatten the sides and roll the ends to the center. Place the wrapped chicken at the corner of the newspaper pile. Roll the chicken again and again in the newspapers around the chicken. Place the wrapped package inside the backpack!
What If It’s Too Hot Against Your Back?
Add more layers of newspaper between the wrapped chicken and the backpack.
How Long Does It Take To Cook?
Two to three hours later, you will have a perfectly cooked chicken! The temperature of the chicken should be 175 degrees!
Dian Thomas' Backpack Chicken

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