Nothing beats a delicious meal shared with friends in the great outdoors. But delicious doesn’t have to be complicated. That’s why we asked Teddy Cosco to share one of his favorite easy-to-make outdoor recipes. With just a cast iron pan and few other tools and ingredients, you’ll be set. These simple but satisfying Cholula Chicken Camping Tacos are sure to be a hit at your next campsite.

Chicken taco in a hand


This is a pretty straightforward way to make tasty camping tacos with just a few ingredients. By no means is this an “authentic” taco, but I like it because it’s pretty quick to make, and it’s delicious.



· 4 x skin-on chicken thighs

· Handful grape tomatoes

· Half a red onion

· A bunch of cilantro

· Lime

· Mayo

· Seasoning salt

· Hot sauce



· Wave+

· Cutting board

· Cast iron pan

· Mixing bowls

· Tongs

· Spoon

Cooking chicken in a cast iron skillet

cutting chicken with a Leatherman wave and seasoning it with hot sauce


Skin-on chicken thighs are what make this dish. If you can find boneless, go for that, if not take a few moments to remove the thigh bone from the chicken thighs.

Season liberally with seasoning salt on both sides before placing skin-side down in a cold cast iron. 

PRO TIP: DO NOT PREHEAT. DO NOT ADD OIL TO PAN. There’s a ton of fat just below the surface of the skin, so you want to render that out and actually fry the thigh in the chicken fat. By starting the chicken off in a cold pan and keeping the flames to a medium heat, the fat has time to render out. This way you are left with a super crispy piece of chicken without a big layer of fat just beneath the skin, which can be a bit rubbery.

Once you’ve placed it skin side down, resist the urge to flip the chicken. This takes some restraint. You’ll be able to watch the chicken cooking through from the bottom up. You’ll want to wait until the very last moment to flip the chicken over as 90% of the cooking occurs with the skin side down.

chopping cilantro with a Leatherman wave and assembling tacos

In the meantime, whip up a quick little salsa. Here I used some grape tomatoes, red onion, and cilantro with a bit of lime juice. Super simple and quick to make.

When the chicken has cooked through and all the fat has rendered out, remove the thighs from the heat and chop into bite-sized pieces. Toss in your favorite hot sauce, and you’re ready to serve.

I like a flour tortilla that has been heated through to be pliable and a bit of sauce, here I just used mayo. Nothing fancy, just quick and good eating.

Finishing off the taco with mayo and taking a bite


Teddy Cosco is an associate professor at Simon Fraser University, a passionate outdoorsman, enthusiastic home cook, and sometimes-lucky fly fisherman. Exploring the tundra via floatplane, fishing off the coast of Alaska and camping throughout Western Canada, he grew up with the outdoors in his blood. Follow @castandiron for adventure and recipe inspiration.




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