More To Life Than Bacon – Crockpot

Sweet & Sour Chicken
Recipe serves 2 – Adjust accordingly

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast.
Or boneless thigh meat if you prefer.
1 package Campbell’s Skillet Sauce (Sweet & Sour).
12-15 baby carrots (or carrots cut small).
1/2 green Bell Pepper, diced.
1/2 cup white onion, diced.
1 cup honey.
1/2 cup light brown sugar.
2 tblsp Kikkoman soy sauce.

Cook on high for 4 hours.
Shred chicken with forks.
Serve over your favorite rice.

OK, Bacon Jam:
h/t Jim Wright at Stonekettle Station

– 2 large sweet yellow onions. Large. Diced, coarse, fine, it doesn’t matter.
– 2 cloves fresh garlic, diced fine
– 1 pound maple smoked bacon, thin or medium cut. Coarse diced.
– 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar.
– 1/4 cup bourbon
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– pinch of kosher salt
– tblsp of butter

Caramelize the onions. This is the critical step. Caramelize, not fried, not sweated, caramelized. Put the onions in a saute/frying pan on LOW heat with the butter and a pinch of salt. Stir periodically. It takes about an hour or more. Cover for the first 1/2 hour, uncover after that. The onions will first turn transparent, then darken to a light brown as the sugars caramelize. Resist the urge to turn up the heat. Low heat, long time, that’s the key.

While the onions are reducing, cook the bacon. Preferably in a deep-sided cast iron skillet — or a stainless steel/aluminum saute pan. Medium heat. You want the bacon brown with all the fat cooked out but NOT reduced to hard crispy salad bits. Browned. Fat cooked out. Still soft and pliable. Remove from heat. Drain the oil. Set the bacon aside. Keep the pan with the brown bacon stuff on the bottom. Drink the still warm and liquid bacon grease (I’m kidding. Don’t drink the grease. Save it for the aforementioned advanced classes).

After the onions are caramelized, transfer to the bacon pan. Cover. Low heat for a few minutes to soften the crispy stuff on the bottom of the pan. Stir to deglaze. The onions will darken. Add the garlic. Stir. Stir. Add the vinegar, bourbon, and brown sugar. Stir until all the good stuff on the bottom of the pan is dissolved.

Transfer to a slow cooker. Add in the bacon. Stir. Set to low. Cover. Four hours, five is better. Stir every hour or so. The onions will almost completely break down.

Transfer to a glass bowl. Cool for a bit. Jam will thicken.

Optional: Some cooks like to put the mix into a food processor and pulse at this point. Don’t overdo it. Me? I like it more chunky and don’t do this step.

MY GOD! NOW WHAT?

Now, you put it on stuff. Warm or cold, you use it like steak sauce on meats (you do this, you’ll never use A1 or Heinz 57 again). Pork chops. Smear it thick on a burger instead of the usual stuff and you will be amazed and wonder why every brew-pub in the world isn’t making burgers like this. Good over fried potatoes. On omelets. You’ll figure it out.

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Ray Saunders

Writer, publisher, weaver. retired Mainframe maven. great-grandfather and general nerd.
Steele Park Press
If you can pick it up or step over it, it's not a real computer.

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