I've been seeing a lot of chili recipes lately. (It likely has to do with all the cold and snow we've been having. Yes, I know it's winter. But wind chills below zero are not "normal" for the Philadelphia area.) I've been reading through them, and most had so many steps and twists and ingredients that I just gave up.
If you boil down all the chili recipes, you get meat, tomatoes, aromatics, and chiles. I refuse to consider chilis with beans. I don't do beans. Yes, I know they're healthy, but I can't get over the texture. (I wonder where my kids get their sensory issues from?)
I recently saw this recipe, that uses salsa for the vegetation. I thought, "Duh!" Ironically, this wasn't the first time I ever had seen salsa instead of chopping veggies. Alton Brown (alias Grumpy Gus in this episode) uses salsa in his chili in an episode of Good Eats. So salsa it is. Meat and salsa. I can handle this.
When I mentioned to Neal I was going to make chili for dinner, he suggested I try this recipe that included bacon. I've yet to see much of anything savory that can't be made better with bacon, so I decided to try her method of rendering the bacon, then sauteeing the meat in the bacon fat.
Three Ingredient Chili1 lb. bacon, chopped
3 lbs. ground turkey (or any other meat)
2 - 15 oz jars salsa
Cut the bacon into 1/2" strips. Cook until most of the fat is rendered out, but the bacon hasn't gotten crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving behind the grease.
Brown the ground turkey in the bacon drippings. Don't worry about if there's a lot of grease in the pan - you're going to drain it off. You just want the smoky and salty fat to season the meat. When the turkey is nearly cooked through, remove from the heat and drain.
Return meats to the pot, or put in a slow cooker. Add salsa. Rinse the salsa that sticks to the jars by swirling a full jar of water first in one jar, pouring it into the second, and then into the pot.
Cover and cook for 4 hours (at about 225°F in the oven, on low for a slow cooker), or until sauce starts to reduce and thicken. If you're using a slow cooker, slip a spoon under the lid to let some of the steam escape and the gravy thicken.
Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, and/or tortilla chips, if desired.
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