Before we venture onto lunch, a quick aside regarding outdoor kitchens: a sink is vital to making it an outdoor kitchen. Pull-out grills off the exterior of a towable or motorhome are great, but I like to be able to clean my food and my hands without walking inside. Furthermore, my ideal outdoor kitchen includes a refrigerator, some counter space for food prep, an exterior outlet and, obviously, a grill and/or range. A spot for a small flat screen TV is awfully nice, but that’s not a deal breaker for me. The TV merely takes it to a higher level where, if I have satellite or cable hooked up, I can cook a meal outside and be yelled at by a host of TV chefs if I choose.
On to the picnic lunch. Let’s create a quick and good family picnic lunch utilizing your RV’s outdoor kitchen.
You’ll want to get out with your family and hit the afternoon trail. This is a family picnic and we’re doing it quickly for there are other camping activities ready for the taking that will need a good hearty meal for energy. We want to get your activities started ASAP, but we do want you to have a fast, hot lunch and frankly you are not here to read how to make a peanut butter sandwich or cold cut sub. On that note, let’s leave the gourmet muddled pesto and grilled garlic chicken sandwich with arugula on hand-grilled focaccia sandwich on the back burner. And let’s not pretend any effort you make to create colorful salads in jars are going to entice your kids to eat the salad. You’re camping, so it’s highly unlikely it will work.
Let’s focus on delicious finger food.
Fried Chicken Fingers
Fried chicken is a picnic staple as in ‘grab a bucket of chicken and head to the lake,’ but this is different as you’re making it on your own. The only planning ahead you need is to make sure you have thawed boneless skinless chicken breast fillets with ‘fillets’ being the key (if you have a whole chicken breast, just snip it into slices first by using kitchen shears, not a knife). You’re going to double-dip—scrambled egg mixture (4 eggs and a ¼ cup of milk) to seasoned flour (generally flour with salt and something spicy like paprika or cayenne pepper—1 teaspoon of spice, pinch of salt and a cup of flour), back from flour to egg mixture then back into the flour and right into the pan with a ¼ inch of cooking oil. Depending upon the heat of your outdoor grill and the thickness of your fingers (the chicken fingers, not your fingers), it shouldn’t take more than 2-3 minutes a side for them to finish. Meanwhile…
Don’t get too concerned about the nutrition lacking in fried foods. While the chicken fingers are cooking or before you have even turned up the heat, you have time for a quick creation of Veggie Fingers as a healthy supplement.
- Carrot fingers (slice up some sticks or just use baby carrots – supply dipping sauce such as honey mustard)
- Celery fingers (fill with a shot of cheese from a can or a slip of peanut butter and add raisins if you desire)
- Devil fingers (strips of red bell pepper with a dill dip or ranch dressing)
You can make fruit fingers if you want, but I’d just call them slices and be done with it. Apples, oranges, bananas, kiwis, whatever you want they are quick to prep.
Ding! Chicken fingers are done! Too hot to eat immediately, so make…
I like to call them Sasquatch fingers. Sound complicated? Not one bit. All you need are graham crackers and a jar of any spreadable chocolate. It’s like a s’more but without hard chocolate and marshmallow. You could call them a s’less, but I call them Sasquatch fingers. Divide graham crackers into their natural quarters, spread the chocolate, make little sandwiches and tell the kids the ‘real’ Sasquatch has naturally rectangle-shaped fingers. If they try to argue, go tell them to find some real Sasquatch fingers to prove you wrong.
Voila, your quick picnic lunch is complete. Pack everything up in whatever cooler or bag you have available, grab some drinks out of the outdoor refrigerator and find your spot. And don’t forget the picnic blanket. A picnic table is fine, but it’s just a table. A true picnic is on a blanket.
Early riser? Want a hearty quick breakfast picnic using your outdoor kitchen? How about a picnic dinner? Whatever you desire, click and enjoy.