The Foil Packet Chicken and Potato or hobo pack recipe takes its place alongside a tuna fish sandwich and Jell-O as one of my earliest recipes. Along with the rest of my cooking repertoire, the hobo pack has evolved over the years and is now a constant menu item on day trips to the beach. The combination convection/conduction cooking method, in which the food is surrounded by coals and slow-cooked, makes it a very easy affair. You can use this method with all kinds of ingredients, but I like it with chicken and lots of garlic, which mellows when it cooks and merges with all the juice from the chicken. The packs can be made up ahead and refrigerated for 4 to 8 hours.
- 1 3-Pound Chicken, Cut In Half
- 1 Large Sweet Potato, Quartered
- 1 Whole Head of Garlic, Unpeeled and Sliced In Half Horizontally
- 1 Large Onion, Quartered
- 1 Large Ripe Tomato, Quartered
- 1 Ear Of Corn, Husked and Cut Into 4 Pieces
- 1 Medium Carrot, Cut Into Large Chunks
- 2 Rosemary Sprigs
- Salt And Freshly Cracked Black Pepper to Taste
- 4 Tablespoons Butter
How to Make Foil Packet Chicken & Potato
Recipe By Chriss Schlesinger
- Lay one chicken half on a large sheet of extra-heavy-duty tinfoil. Arrange half of the vegetables over and around the chicken, add 1 sprig rosemary and salt and pepper to taste, dot 2 tablespoons of butter over all, and put another large sheet of tinfoil on top. Roll the edges of the two sheets together, closing the pack. Fold the edges up, making sure you remember which side is up (see the image). Now cover the entire pack with one more layer of tinfoil.
- Repeat with the second chicken half and remaining ingredients.
- It’s best to use a campfire where you have plenty of room to work, but a large grill will do as well. Build a medium fire, place the packs on the bottom of the fire or grill, top-side up, and arrange coals all around them. Make sure to keep hot burning coals constantly around the packs, and cook for 30 to 45 minutes, depending upon the intensity of your heat.
- Remove the packs from the coals, unroll the tinfoil, and catch the wonderful smell. For the full hobo pack experience, sit on the ground and eat it out of the tinfoil with Cokes and candy bars, then play a game of Capture the Flag and tell ghost stories. It is also okay to serve it on a plate with some crusty bread for the juices, a salad, and a bottle of white wine—but then, some people have no respect for culinary traditions.
Serving Suggestions: Serve Foil Packet Chicken & Potato with Girl Scout cookies and that nice, ice cold fruit beer.