Even if you're not camping out over Memorial Day weekend, it's good exercise to pretend you are. There's nothing like an old-fashioned camping trip to polish the desperate cook's kitchen survival skills.

One of our favorite flexible recipes for times like these - whether camping, grilling or cooking in - hails back to our Girl Scout days. Take a bit of meat, top it with whatever vegetables happen to be on hand, add a bit of sauce and wrap the whole shebang in foil.With minimal effort, these packets cook equally well over a campfire, on the grill or in the oven. The juices mingle like magic,

and voila! The steaming pockets make everyone a happy camper.

Menu: Camper's Chicken Stew, crusty rolls, fresh strawberries


1 pound skinless, boneless chicken tenders

1 small onion

1/2 large green or red bell pepper

1 large white potato

3/4 cup barbecue sauce, plus additional sauce for the table

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees or preheat the grill according to manufacturer's instructions.

Tear off 4 large (14-inch) squares of aluminum foil. (Use heavy-duty foil if cooking over an open campfire.) Place an equal number of chicken tenders (about 3) on top of each piece of foil. Peel the onion and cut it into slices 1/4-inch thick. Place 1 slice over each chicken packet, separating it into rings.

Seed the bell pepper half and cut it into 12 strips. Place 3 strips over the onion in each packet. Rinse the potato but do not peel it. Cut the unpeeled potato into very thin slices, about 1/16 of an inch wide. Place an equal number of slices (about 6) over the bell pepper in each packet. Spoon 3 tablespoons of barbecue sauce over each packet.

Fold the aluminum foil across the middle and on the ends to seal the packets tightly. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft and the chicken is no longer pink in the center. (If grilling, place directly over the rack; if cooking over a fire, place packets on the open coals.) Serve at once, topping with additional barbecue sauce at the table, if desired. Season with salt and pepper at the table, if desired.

Serves 4.

- Cook's note: These foil packets can be customized to individual preference by adding or leaving out vegetables. Firm vegetables must be thinly sliced. You can make and refrigerate packets up to a day before baking. Cooking times will vary over a campfire, so open the packets to check for doneness.

- Approximate Values Per Serving: 324 calories (12 percent from fat), 4 g fat (1 g saturated), 96 mg cholesterol, 37 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 778 mg sodium.