Busy Day Chili and Crockpot Potatoes

Put at least 1 whole scrubbed potato per person in a big bowl. Add a tablespoon or two of liquid oil. I use grapeseed oil. Add a generous sprinkle of salt. Toss the potatoes around with a big spoon until they are coated with salt and oil. Now pierce each potato with a knife.

Wrap each potato individually in foil, and place all the potatoes in a crockpot. Add about 3 cups of water. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours. I find that the water is almost completely evaporated at the end of cooking! This recipe does not make crispy baked potatoes–they have a soft steamed texture that works well with lots of toppings.

For the chili, you need only two ingredients: a pound of your favorite ground meat and about a 16 ounce package of fresh salsa. These amounts yield about 4 servings.

You can really vary the spice level depending on the meat you use, the salsa you choose, and any spices you choose to add. I like to use Italian sausage because the hint of fennel in it cools the spices in the salsa. If I am doubling the recipe, I might use a pound of chorizo and a pound of plain ground meat.

Brown the meat, add the salsa and bring it all to a bubble. Now you have fresh flavorful chili!

Serve the chili and baked potatoes with your favorite toppings. You might like cheese (the real stuff or the fake stuff), homemade mayo or sour cream, fresh avocado or anything else you enjoy on baked potatoes.

I always make extra potatoes. We eat them the next day, diced with scrambled eggs.

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