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Sarah Glover

Butterflied Chicken with Pineapple Salsa & Holiday Meal 'Campsgiving'

It’s the end of the workday before a long weekend. You’re itching to leave the emails behind and get off grid, and out to your favorite remote camp spot. You’re craving the unrivaled feeling of breathing fresh air, wandering in nature, and sleeping under the stars, cozy in your rooftop tent or camper.

Cooler weather and fewer crowds bring a serenity to nature like no other season. With colder temps and holidays just around the corner, gathering together for delicious, hearty meals with friends and loved ones feels like the perfect way to enjoy those extra vacation days. Cooking a decadent and insanely easy whole grilled chicken outdoors while enjoying your favorite beautiful views? Even better.

Gourmet Campsgiving

Sarah Glover, Dometic’s favorite outdoor enthusiast and professional chef  (@missarahglover), has a passion for sharing gourmet camping recipes to cook al fresco. She is also passionate about the way both food and nature have the power to bring people together. Perhaps this is the year to forgo the stress of airport travel and whether there is enough room in the dining room for one more seat. Instead, pack up your favorite foldable camping chairs and blankets, and enjoy an off-road overlanding Thanksgiving.

Turkey is overrated – try out Sarah’s butterflied whole grilled chicken for your thanksgiving camping recipe this year. Keep reading to find the full recipe.

Butterflied Chicken with Pineapple Salsa

Serves 6

*Recipe recommends cooking over an open fire for the best smoky flavor, but you can also make this same recipe over a standard camp grill. Remember to always check local fire restrictions in the area before lighting a campfire.


Butterflied Chicken

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced or grated
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 x 3 lb. whole chicken, butterflied

Pineapple salsa

  • 1 pineapple
  • 1 red or green chili
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro (coriander), finely chopped


  1. Light a fire and let it burn down for 1 hour or until you obtain a medium heat. Set a tripod and a grill grate over the fire.
  2. Using a sharp knife, cut the skin off the pineapple leaving the top intact – you will use this to hang your pineapple over the fire. Tie some butcher’s twine around the top of the pineapple and hang the pineapple about 20 inches above the fire and cook for 1 hour or until juicy.
  3. Add the chili pepper to the grill grate to blister and get some smoky flavor.
  4. Remove the pineapple and chili from the fire and let it cool. Cut the pineapple into small cubes and finely dice the pepper. Add the remaining ingredients and toss well to combine. Set it aside while you cook the chicken.
  5. Whisk together the oil, garlic, lemon zest, herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
  6. Using your hands, separate the chicken skin from the flesh on the breasts and legs. Scoop up the marinade and rub it all over the flesh of the chicken under the skin, then rub your greasy hands over the outside of the skin as well.
  7. Make sure your fire is burning at a medium–low heat with a good hot bed of coals. You may have to lower your grate or add more wood as needed.
  8. Place the chicken on the grill grate, skin side down, and cook for 35 minutes or until the skin is a deep golden brown. Try not to cook the outside of the chicken too fast, leaving the inside under-cooked – the chicken should be cooked slowly. Flip the chicken over and continue to cook until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F and the juices run clear.
  9. Serve the chicken with the pineapple salsa.

Everyone loves leftovers. If you’re lucky enough to have any left, store in an airtight container in your electric cooler or powered ice chest and enjoy again tomorrow!

Want to know about Sarah and her culinary brilliance? Click here to read about her top tips for hosting an offgrid dinner.

Dying to deck out your camp kitchen? Click here to find Sarah’s favorite gear recommendations.