Why It Works
- Cooking the vegetables in bacon fat infuses the dish with smoky flavor.
- Cream and sour cream add richness to the salsa.
We started with a Popeye’s Cajun turkey, and then secured an iconic dish from four fast food restaurants to make some amazing side dishes. While you’re getting the turkey, pick up some biscuits for this custardy stuffing. For potatoes, McDonald’s hash browns are folded into a rich sauce for a unique gratin. And what’s Thanksgiving without dessert? We turned Domino’s Cinnastix into a decadent apple crisp.
I think it must be a regional thing to have corn at Thanksgiving. Although you can’t find fresh corn in November, corn is always in season at Chipotle in the form of chile, cilantro, and red onion-flecked salsa.
The obvious move was to take these flavors a little bit north of the border and translate them into a Southwestern-style Thanksgiving staple. Bacon adds a salty-smoky flavor to the final product, plus enough grease to soften a handful of chopped red onion and a healthy dose of garlic. Depending on your tolerance for spice, a pinch of cayenne or even some chopped jalapeño contributes a bold kick to the dish. Once the aromatics have softened, corn joins the party along with our finishing elements: sour cream for tang and, of course, a hefty pour of heavy cream. The only effort required for this recipe is time—be patient and reduce the cream over low heat so neither the corn nor dairy overcooks.
To finish the dish, just remove it from the heat, add chopped bacon, a touch of lime zest and juice, and a final flourish of cilantro or scallions to cut through the creamy, fatty sauce.
- 1/2 pound bacon (about 6 thick-cut strips), chopped
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small jalapeño, seeds removed and minced (about 1 tablespoon; optional)
- Kosher salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 1/2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 cups Chipotle's Corn Salsa
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated zest and 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Cook bacon in a medium skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until completely crisp, about 12 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in skillet.
Add onions, garlic, and jalapeño (if using), to bacon fat and season with salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of pan, until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add cayenne, sour cream, and heavy cream to the pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook until reduced by 1/3, about 10 minutes. Liquid should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Add corn to skillet and cook, stirring, until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in bacon, lime zest, and lime juice. Season to taste with salt, transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with scallions, and serve.