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River Recipes - Trans Pecos Chicken
by Louis Aulbach

Editor's Note: River Recipes is a new column that will hopefully appear in each HCC Newsletter in 2010. If you have a tried and true river recipe, send it to lindagorski@cs.com. We want all our river cooks out there to contribute to this column. I, unfortunately, struggle even with home cooking so, in defense of my fellow paddlers, will not be contributing :-)

Here's one of Louis Aulbach's favorites. Trust me -- I've had this one and it is absolutely delicious. Happy eating!! Linda


Trans Pecos Chicken Pot Pie

This one pot meal is best enjoyed in a wilderness setting around a small campfire with family and friends who have spent a good day hiking or canoeing.

 
  The Piggy Panther pictograph
Although I have fixed it many times, the most recent occasion was on the third day of a week long canoe trip down the Pecos River of West Texas (that's in Judge Roy Bean territory near Langtry). We had spent three days running the rapids of the Pecos on the 60 mile trip from Pandale, Texas to the boat ramp at Lake Amistad. On this third day on the river, we had the good fortune to visit both the famous "Piggy Panther" pictograph site as well as the Harkell Canyon pictograph site.

After negotiating the rocky ledges and standing waves of the Harkell Canyon Rapid and slipping past the hazards of Pin Rock Rapid, a mile farther down stream, our group made camp on a rock ledge beside a calm, deep pool along the river.

 
Chalk Cave  
In the sun-warmed camp site at Chalk Cave on the east bank of the Pecos on a cool November afternoon, I baked this recipe in my 12 inch cast aluminum dutch oven. The last spoonfuls were scraped from the pot in the fading sunlight of the Trans Pecos, but the satisfying taste remains in your memory for a long time. Try this dish and create your own good times with good friends.



Ingredients:
    Cream of Broccoli Soup - 1 can
    Cream of Mushroom Soup - 1 can
    milk - 1/2 cup
    thyme 1/4 tsp
    pepper 1/4 tsp
    garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
    fresh broccoli - 1 cup
    fresh carrots - 1 cup
    fresh potatoes - 1 cup
    onion - 1, diced and cooked
    chicken breasts - 2 cups diced and cooked
Biscuits:
    flour - 2 cups
    baking powder - 1 TBL
    salt - 1/4 tsp
    margarine - 1/2 cup (one stick)
    milk - 2/3 cup
Note: you can use powdered milk and water, for the milk (1/3 powder to 1 cup water).

 
  Louis Aulbach cooking up Trans Pecos Chicken on the river.
  Photo by Linda Gorski
Boil the broccoli, carrots and potatoes in a 2 quart sauce pan until tender. Combine soups, milk, thyme, garlic powder, pepper, broccoli, carrots, potatoes and chicken in the dutch oven.

Make biscuits. Place flour in a mixing bowl, add baking powder and salt. Cut margarine into the flour mixture. Add milk and blend into a dough. Knead and roll the dough into a circle of about 3/4 inch thick. Cut out biscuits about 2 inches in diameter.

Top chicken and vegetable mixture with biscuits. Bake in a covered dutch oven at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes, until biscuits are done.

Serves four hearty appetites.

PS: Bake some brownies for desert.

This is just one of the delicious river recipes that will become part of Louis Aulbach's upcoming book, "The River Guide to Good Eating".

The Chef,
Louis Aulbach

~~~ The End ~~~