I was looking for something that would be flavorful and flexible for dinner the night before Thanksgiving – family were coming in from several places and arrival times could only, truly be known when they actually arrived – and the nice folk at Southern Living came through with an almost perfect sounding slow cooker recipe.
Almost perfect? Yes, because it called for chicken, and, since the next day was gonna be centered around another piece o’ poultry, I swapped out Italian sausage.
And it was pretty darned tasty.
And easy, because it is a slow cooker recipe.
Note: my main, six quart, slow cooker has a number of additional settings, such as “brown” and “simmer” and “sauté” and “steam,” so I was able to make the entire chowder in one pot. If you have a more traditional slow cooker, you’ll need to sauté the sausage and veggies in another pan first.
•1 lb Italian sausage
•2 cups chopped sweet onion
•2 cups shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
•1 cup chopped celery
•4 cloves garlic
•3 tbsp Pepper Relish
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1 tsp Cajun Power Spicy Garlic Pepper Sauce – or your fave hot sauce, to taste
•6 cups sweet potatoes, cubed
•2 cups corn kernels
•1 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1 tsp black pepper
•1 tsp Aleppo pepper
•1 tsp dried parsley
•1 tsp dried oregano
•6 cups chicken stock
•1 cup plain yogurt
•1 cup half and half
•Chopped fresh chives
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.
Brown the sausage, breaking up into tiny pieces for five minutes, then add the onion, cabbage and celery and cook for another five or ten minutes, until the sausage is cooked through and the veggies are tender.
Add the garlic, pepper relish, Sherry Peppers and hot sauces and cook, stirring, until most of the pan juices have cooked off.
Transfer to a slow cooker (or turn off the “sauté” setting) and add the sweet potatoes, corn, seasonings and chicken stock.
Cook on High until the potatoes are tender, about four hours.
Note: Slow cooker sweet potatoes tend to like to screw around with me; so, after four hours, my sweet potatoes were still like little rocks in liquid with stuff
Fortunately, I was able to set the cooker back to “sauté” and cook until the potatoes were well and truly tender, mebbe another 30 to 45 minutes. If you do not have this option, I would strongly suggest you plan on giving the chowder five or six good hours of slow cooking time.
Temper the yogurt by whisking in some of the hot chowder, then add that to the slow cooker along with the half and half.
Using an immersion blender, mash about 1/4 of the chowder until smooth, then stir to mix throughout the chowder,
Stir to mix and heat through.
Serve with chives and hot sauce.
This was another hit for the weekend, and made enough for ten folk or so.
I should note: this chowder is gluten-free, so, bonus! I passed around some air-fried Brazi-Bites (gluten-free Brazilian Cheese Bread) and no one really missed bread or rolls or crackers.