It happens to be Cinco de Mayo and I totally didn’t plan this recipe for that, though it is a happy accident. Today’s dish is themed after one of my all-time favorite Disney flicks, the Three Caballeros. Donald Duck is taught all about Latin American culture from his pal, (the parrot) José Carioca from Brazil and his new friend, (the rooster) Panchito Pistoles from Mexico. (José’s cigar-smoking and Panchito’s affinity for guns would NOT fly today… pun definitely intended.)
The recipe is a little dark because I used three kinds of birds in it, but it’s freaking amazing and oh so addicting. It’s creamy, velvety queso with turkey sausage, shredded chicken and duck bacon. And I made my own chips because I couldn’t just go dunkin’ Tostitos into this. I nearly forgot to mention, it’s a slow cooker recipe and the easiest freaking thing to do! Well, not the easiest… opening up a jar of queso from the chip aisle is easier, just not nearly as tasty. Life is all about trade offs.
I do need you to tell me one thing before we begin… have you ever been to Baia?
8 oz turkey sausage
8 oz duck bacon
8 oz pre-cooked shredded chicken (you can get a rotisserie at your local grocery store and it’s lovely)
12 oz evaporated milk
1 tbsp corn starch
8 oz brick cheese (or white American cheese)
8 oz pepper jack cheese
8 oz grated cotija cheese
1 tsp smoked paprika
3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tsp salt
chips for serving
Obviously, we are going to start with the turkey sausage since it’s first on our list. It just makes sense. I don’t make the rules, just the recipes.
Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and break up your sausage in the pan. If your sausage has casing, no problemo, just use a small knife and slice down the side and remove the casing. Once the sausage is cooked through (6-7 minutes) go ahead and remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. In the same skillet, lay out your slices of duck bacon and cook until crispy and your kitchen is smelling amazing. The timing will depend on the thickness of the cut, but I KNOW you know how to tell when bacon is cooked through… by looking at it. Remove to the paper towel-lined plate.
That was the hard part! The rest is easy as cheese. (That is too a saying!) Bust out your slow cooker and turn to high. Pour in the evaporated milk. Dissolve your corn starch in 1/4 cup water and whisk into the evaporated milk. Let thicken in the slow cooker for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the mean time, shred your brick and pepper jack cheese. If you got them at the deli and they sliced them, also no problemo. Just cut them up into chonks, about 1/4″ by 1/4″. Once your milk has thickened, stir in the smoked paprika and salt. Then add in your brick cheese, pepper jack cheese and cotija. (I definitely always want to type cojita and I’m definitely always wrong.) Next, finely dice your chipotle peppers and stir into the mixture. That’s it! Let cook for 3-4 hours on high and serve with chips.
For what it’s worth, homemade tortilla chips are VERY easy to make. Just cut up some corn tortillas and fry them in oil and they taste amazing and hold up to dip way better than the store-bought ones. If you’re feeling extra, give it a try.