The Ultimate Thanksgiving, or, Campsgiving Dinner Menu

I was born and raised in Brazil until I was twelve years old. In the summer of 2000, my family moved to New York, and in that fall we were invited to our very first Thanksgiving.

It quickly became my favorite holiday. I still look forward to Thanksgiving – once the air cools down a little, and the leaves start to change colors.

Fast forward to 2012, I had been living in San Francisco for almost two years and had not yet been camping. My family, who still lives in New York, couldn’t make it out here for Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t afford to go home.

Luckily, I was working with a large group of people, most of whom were transplants to the Bay Area as well, and some weren’t planning to go home for the holidays either. One of my good friends, Dan Couv, invited me to join him and two other friends on a camping trip to Big Sur for Thanksgiving weekend. I had never been to Big Sur, nor had I ever been camping, so I jumped at the opportunity.

That trip was transformative in many ways, make sure you ask me about it when we see each other IRL – but one of the most impressive things that happened was the full Thanksgiving meal. Dan was able to cook for us and bring us together, in nature, to build some pretty spectacular memories.

This year, my boyfriend and I decided to invite our friend Michele to an early Campsgiving not only to thank her for all her help (she’s a great aunt to my fur baby!) but to also recreate some of the special memories inspired by my time in Big Sur – surrounded by friends, eating a great meal by the fire, and just feeling super thankful.

This was our 2018 Campsgiving menu:

1. Grilled chicken under a brick
2. Mashed potatoes with gravy
3. Stuffing
4. Roasted corn, green beans, and roasted bell pepper

It might seem daunting at first – but I believe in you! You 👏🏽 can 👏🏽 do it!

 

Here are the recipes:

Chicken under a brick

Prep time: 40 minutes | Cook time: 40 minutes plus 10 minutes resting | Total time: 1.5 hours

Serving Size: 6


Chicken under a brick ensures that the chicken has constant contact with the grill and since it’s been butterflied the chicken cooks quickly and evenly! 😄


Ingredients:

1 4 lb chicken, spatchcocked (click to learn how!)

3 Tbsp of Diamont Crystal Kosher salt (other salt can be used, but please adjust to it’s salinity)

Olive oil

Special equipment:

1 brick, wrapped in foil

Instant read thermometer


Instructions:

  1. Spatchcock your chicken and lay it flat on a quarter sheet cooking tray
  2. Using all the salt, liberally salt the chicken all around
  3. Let the chicken sit in the cooler for 30 minutes
  4. Remove chicken from cooler and let it come up in temperature for 10 minutes
  5. Lightly coat the chicken’s skin in olive oil
  6. Place the chicken back side down, flat on a grill over hot coals and cook for 20 minutes
  7. Flip the chicken, breast side down, place a brick on top and cook for another 30 minutes
  8. Using an instant-read thermometer, take the temperature of the chicken by inserting the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, you’re looking to get to 165ºF
  9. Once at temp, remove the chicken and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  10. Carve and enjoy!

 


Mashed Potatoes

Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 6


You can make this chunky or super smooth… it all depends on your patience and your taste!


Ingredients:

1 pound of Yukon gold potatoes, washed

4 Tbsp of butter

1/2 cup of milk

Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions:

  1. Cut your Yukon potatoes into 2-inch cubes
  2. Fill a pot with salted water, it should taste like the ocean
  3. Place potato in water and bring to a boil until potatoes have softened
  4. Drain water and return potatoes to the pot
  5. Add butter and milk
  6. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the potatoes to your preferred consistency
  7. Serve and enjoy

 


Stuffing and gravy

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 6


For the stuffing and gravy, we decided to take a shortcut and go with our favorite stuffing mix and turkey gravy from Trader Joes. 🙌 It’s super affordable and delicious! It also just takes about 20 minutes for it to come together! Win win win all around!


Roast corn and green beans

Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 25 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 6


Super easy! You wrap the corn in foil and throw it on the coals, you make a foil pack with a splash of chicken stock and steam the green beans on the coals! Easy and quick way to add veggies to your Campsgiving plate!


Ingredients:

5 ears of corn, shucked and cleaned

1/2 lb of green beans, trimmed

1/2 cup of chicken stock

Olive oil

Room temp butter for corn, as much as you prefer

Salt and pepper to taste


Instructions:

  1. Completely wrap each individual ear of corn in foil
  2. Place corn on hot coals and cook for 15 minutes while constantly rotating it
  3. Carefully remove corn from coals and open it to release the steam. Be careful, steam will be very hot!
  4. Cut each cob in half and coat in butter, salt, and pepper
  5. Toss green bean with olive oil, salt, and pepper
  6. Make a foil pack for green beans, arranging it in a single layer
  7. Pour 1/2 cup of chicken stock over green beans and loosely wrap the foil pack
  8. Place foil pack on coal, seam side up for 10 minutes
  9. Using kitchen tongs, rotate foil pack, seam side down and cook it for another 15 minutes
  10. Carefully remove foil pack from coals and open it to release the steam. Be careful, steam will be very hot!
  11. Serve and enjoy!

 

 

My wish for you is that you too can get outside, join around a meal with friends and build even better memories of times spent together.

Happy Holidays! ✌🏽