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Jan 14, 2009 05:43 AM

Best Chili Recipe

We are about to get slammed with very cold weather in NYC and I thought that a big pot of chili would be the perfect comfort food. Anyone care to share their favorite recipes? No parameters - pork, beef, chicken, turkey...anything goes! Thanks.

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  1. Here is a solid, straight forward chili recipe that is perfect for personal tweaking:

    Substitute the chili powder of your choice - I use Gebhardt. This recipe won the CASI championship in 2005.

    3 Replies
    1. re: CDouglas

      Mexene chili powder is exceptional and has a very good, really simple recipe on the back label, but oddly, it's not on their website. Mexene claims TX chili authenticity and but I first came to know this chili as a child growing up in MS when my mom would make big pots of it. It's distributed out of LA so don't know if it's available in NY, but they also have an online store. It has some heat behind it, but won't knock your socks off.

      When I make it, I usually double the recipe (it freezes really well) with the following changes/additions:

      Add 1 box of beef broth for nice consistency, or the equivalent amount of water
      Omit flour for a soupier consistency
      Reduce sugar to a 2 finger pinch (even with recipe doubled)
      Simmer for a minimum of 1-1/2 hours. If the liquid reduces too much, add water.

      Add 1 14 oz can diced or whole tomatoes - if whole, break up after simmering a bit
      If tomatoes are used, add an addtional tbl of chili powder

      Stay warm!

        1. re: NAtiveNewYorker

          I just received some that I ordered from Amazon. I should be making some chili this weekend and will try it out.

      1. I start with this one but changed up to fit me:

        I added more meats (bacon and chirizo and cubed beef), didn't like the bourbon in it - added more beer, I love beans so mine had beans in it (just one can) Also added liq smoke and worstershire. The chocolate is important - it was excellent.

        1. Here's my chili recipe. I made a batch of this yesterday.

          Black and White Turkey Chili

          2 Tbsp vegetable oil
          1 Tbsp olive oil
          1 cup yellow onions, diced
          1/2 cup bell peppers, diced

          1 pound ground turkey
          1 Tbsp garlic powder
          1 Tbsp chili powder
          1 Tbsp ground cumin
          1/2 tsp ground coriander
          1/2 tsp chrushed dried oregano
          1/4 tsp seasoning salt
          1/8 tsp ground black pepper

          1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes - with liquid
          1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
          1/4 cup salsa verde
          1 beef bullion cube
          1 (15 ounce) can black beans - with liquid
          1 (15 ounce) can great northern white beans- with liquid
          1 cup water

          In a 3-quart saucepan, saute the onions and bell peppers in the cooking oils until the onions are golden brown.

          Add ground turkey and seasonings, crumble turkey, mix well and saute until turkey is browned.

          Add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, salsa verde, beef bullion, two cans of beans and 1 cup of water to saucepan.

          Mix well and simmer for about 20 to 30-minutes, stirring occasionally.

          1. Depends on what you mean by chili. What I call chili is the evolution of what my mother and grandmother have made for years, and probably that evolved from the Betty Crocker cookbook. Some would call this dish "ground meat stew with tomatoes and beans". I call it comfort.

            I don't really have a recipe, just a bunch of ingredients I throw in a pot. I think the key to giving this a unique flavor is the chiles you use. I don't use a commercial chili powder, but instead grind my own chiles and add the other seasonings I want. I think having the freshest chiles and spices makes a big difference. Here's my method:

            About one and a half pounds ground sirlion or lean ground beaf is browned in a large pot. When the meat is still somewhat pink, I pour off most of the fat and then add a large chopped onion, a chopped green pepper, one maybe two cloves minced garlic, and sometimes fresh chiles minced up, like serranos and/or poblanos. When the onions are translucent, I add my seasonings. Before browning the meat, I will have already toasted and ground up the chiles I wish to use. I like a mixture of ancho, guajillo, and arbol. To start maybe 2-3 TBS of ancho, 1.5 TBS of guajillo, and 2 tsp of chile de arbol. Sometimes if I have a can of chipotles in adobo on hand I'll add a couple of those, minced. I also toast and grind whole cumin, maybe two teaspoons. I also add dried Mexican oregano, perhaps one teaspoon. If I'm not using chipotles, I like to add a few teaspoons or more of smoked paprika. To balance the acid of the tomatoes and the spiciness, or maybe just cause my momma always did, I add a tablespoon or so of brown sugar. Next I dump in a couple cans of diced or whole tomatoes, whatever I have on hand. I like to use the Muir Glen fire roasted variety. I'll pulverize half of the tomatoes with my immersion blender into a puree and leave the other half diced. I also throw in a can of dark red kidney beans, drained. Mix it all up, and if it seems too thick add some more tomatoes or perhaps some beer. Let it simmer for a while then check the seasoning after 45 minutes or an hour has gone by. If it needs more cumin, add more cumin. If it needs more heat, add more chile de arbol or chipotle. If the flavor is kinda flat, try more ancho or guajillo. Just play around with it to your liking. Needs to cook a total of two hours, at least, I'd say. About fifteen or thirty minutes before serving, I like to add a bit of dark chocolate to the mix. I usually use one or one half of a square of Lindt 85%. The chocolate really pulls everything together nicely, I think. Just don't add too much.

            When I make this for a crowd, I usually don't make it as spicy as I would like, so in my bowl I add slices of serrano peppers to kick up the heat. Sometimes I top the chili with a sharp cheddar and minced onion like my mom used to, and sometimes I don't. Either way, I'm certain that my chili would horrify most Texans and many gourmands. That's fine, it just leaves more for me.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Agent Orange

              Agent Orange, we seem to think alike--I use the same basic approach, with three exceptions:

              1) I don't add any green chiles to the mix (except, as you point out, as an optional garnish). Rationale: I want the red chile flavour to come through, and I use a lot of chile powder. Adding in some green chiles as well might make the results...dyspeptic! Of course, chile verde is great in its own right...

              2) My chile con carne takes mole poblano as its jumping-off point--I see you give a nod in that direction as well. But to push it just a bit further in that direction, I add in a very small amount of the sweeter mole spices, for your recipe above this would mean: About 3/4 inch of cinnamon stick (ideally Mexican), 2 whole cloves, maybe 12 black peppercorns, and about 1 tsp of corriander seeds--I toast these all briefly in a dry pan then grind them and add them in with the chile. My goal is to have them just in the background--shouldn't really be able to taste any of them individually.

              3) I use dry-roasted garlic (the Mexican approach...)--I don't honestly know if this makes a difference.

              That said, I am sure I would enjoy your recipe greatly! Thanks for sharing it.

              1. re: zamorski

                I'll have to try your ideas. Every time I make chili, I do it differently each time. Although, a while back, I deviated from my usual method and followed a recipe for "Texas red." I decided to put my own spin on it by using a pinch of cinnamon I had ground. It really was only a pinch, and yet the entire batch of chili tasted like cinnamon stew. It was reminiscent of Cincinnati/Skyline chili, which was not what I was going for at all. Perhaps it's because the cinnamon (or cassia) that I used was purchased at an Indian grocer, so maybe the variety was all wrong for a Texan dish. I'll have to get hold of some canela, and then try your mole approach. Sounds tasty.

                1. re: Agent Orange

                  Ah yes, the cassia could be the culprit--canela is much milder and more complex.

                2. re: zamorski

                  Agent Orange and zamorski, great minds think alike! We seem to make fairly identical chili.

                  I always add a touch of chocolate and cinnamon to mine. zamorski, as you said it is very subtle in the background but makes the chili. I probably put a teaspoon of cinnamon and a couple of small squares of chocolate to 6 pounds of meat.

                  The only real difference in mine is that instead of grinding my dried chilies (and I don't add any tomato to this type of chili but do when I make a soupier style of chili with beans) I will soak them in a bowl with enough hot water to get them soft then I puree them in my blender. I used to grind them but got tired of inhaling the chili dust and I always seem to lose my mask! It does not seem to affect the flavor at all (although I am sure some people out there would disagree) and is just easier to do. I made a huge batch of this chili for a Superbowl party and it was a huge hit! People always want the recipe and there isn't one!!

                  1. re: jodymaryk

                    Your approach to the chiles is actually more authentically Mexican: Soak then puree. I have done it both ways...I lean towards powder most of the time because I grind up several cups of the stuff at a time and it keeps well. I do think that the flavour is a little different, but I can't tell you exactly how. The puree approach seems to make it taste more Mexican. Funny that!

              2. Rick Bayless has several good ones. Here's a link to one.

                I also like his black bean and--if I remember correctly--gualillo chile in his salsa book.