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Author Notes: A tasty, lightened up version of chili.
Bison is high in protein and has less fat, calories, and cholesterol than chicken. Chili is also a perfect vessel for bison because, due to the lack of fat, it can dry out quickly. Not in this dish!
You can use mild or hot Italian chicken sausage depending on the amount of kick you're craving. —Marisa
- 1.5 pounds ground bison
- .5 pounds mild Italian chicken or turkey sausage (about 2 links)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers (orange and/or yellow), roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 56 ounces (2-28 oz. cans) whole tomatoes with juice, roughly chopped
- 14.5 ounces (1 can) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 14.5 ounces (1 can) kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 bay leaf
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat 1 T of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes, until it is just becoming translucent.
- Add chopped bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes, then add garlic.
- When garlic becomes fragrant, but not brown (1 minute or so), add ground bison.
- Remove the chicken sausage from its casings and add the chicken as well. Discard casings.
- Add half of chili powder (about 2 tsp.) and pinches of salt and pepper. Stir frequently.
- When meat is no longer pink (8-10 minutes), reduce heat to low and add the chopped tomatoes with their juice.
- When incorporated, add the rinsed and drained beans.
- Add tomato sauce (you can use less, if you prefer, but the bison will soak it up) and the remaining seasonings: 2 tsp of chili powder, garlic and onion powders.
- Add bay leaf.
- Simmer chili on the stove, still on low heat, stirring occasionally, for 45-60 minutes. This allows the flavors to merry and the excess liquid to burn off.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve with light sour cream and a little cheddar cheese if you can't help yourself!