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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. http://www.fronterakitchens.com/cooki...

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

                1. i like adding some jalepeno ketchup to it

                  1. This is my alltime favorite recipe - after searching forever!!



                    1. This might not be what you're looking for, but I make a Turkey Chili that's mild, low-fat and reasonably low calorie (a tenth of the recipe is about 365 calories, with lots of protein and fiber), and great comfort food with a piece of cornbread on the side.

                      Operagirl's Turkey Chili

                      3 tablespoons olive oil
                      1 medium onion, diced
                      5 cloves garlic, chopped
                      2.5 pounds ground turkey breast (99% lean)
                      1 40 oz. can of pinto beans (or 3 standard-size cans), liquid included
                      1 28oz can diced tomatoes
                      2 14oz cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
                      1/4 cup chili powder
                      2 tablespoons cumin

                      1. Sautee the onions and garlic in olive oil until the onions are a bit browned.

                      2. Add the turkey, stirring often until no longer pink.

                      3. Add the beans, canned tomatoes, chili powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, then turn down to low and let simmer for about 2 hours.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: operagirl

                        Looks great, Ill be trying this out tonight. Quick question - is it spicy? I saw you use a 1/4 cup of chili powder. My wife cant take too much heat. Thanks!

                        1. re: blackbookali

                          Hard to make a good chili without a good bit of chili powder, in my book--I generally use about 1/4 cup per pound of meat, so I don't think that 1/4 cup for 2.5 pounds of turkey would be overdoing it. Most commercial powders are really mild, heat-wise, but most are pretty uninspiring. If you want to have chile flavour without too much heat using homemade chili powder, you can control the heat by:

                          1) Seeding and de-veining the chiles carefully before you pulverize them.
                          2) Using mainly milder chiles, e.g., New Mexico or Guajillo instead of Ancho or Mulato. Avoid De Arbol or chipotle, which are generally very hot. I generally like a mixture of chiles for my powder--my stand-by is about 2 parts ancho, 2 parts mulato, and 1 part pasilla (earthy, a bit bitter) or guajillo (tangy, tomato-y).
                          3) Cutting the mixture with good quality mild paprika--this adds chili flavour without chili heat
                          4) Serve chili with "cooling" condiments (e.g., sour cream) or over rice/pasta.
                          5) I think it rounds out the flavour a bit to cook the chile powder a bit before adding in the meat and such. Mexican cooks do this by soaking the chiles, pureeing them, then searing the paste for 5 or so minutes in hot lard. To do this with powder, I saute the onions until the just start to colour then add in the chili powder and sear it for 3 minutes or so, stiring frequently.

                          One final note on the turkey chile recipe above--I think 2 TB of cumin would be overpowering, myself (matter of taste, I know). I would use more like 1 1/2 TEAspoons here myself.

                          1. re: blackbookali

                            This recipe isn't spicy at all. I use safeway's chili powder, and it doesn't pack a punch to speak of. Tastes like paprika with a shot of cumin, really. If your chili powder is anything like mine, then you'll be fine. Otherwise, substitute 2 parts paprika, 1 part garlic powder, 1 part cumin. Let me know how it turns out!

                          2. re: operagirl

                            my recipe is almost exactly like this, with the addition of 1/3 - 1/2 can of beer. It cooks off and adds a nice tangy flavor.

                            1. re: mayjay

                              What does the masa harina do for the chili?

                                1. re: cocktailhour

                                  ... and I think it adds a particular flavor of it's own.

                                2. re: ajs228

                                  I made chili this weekend as well and since I din't have any masa harina to tighten the broth, I fine shredded a fresh corn tortilla and cooked for the last five minutes. Worked great, slightly thickened the broth and gave it an elusive back flavor and the tortilla pieces almost totally dissolved.

                              1. i swear by a pork chili recipe i got out of Fine Cooking over 10 years ago. It's quite wonderful using reconstituted dried chilies, cilantro, lime juice and melting tender pork shoulder. Same article also does a red chili and a green chili. They might be archived somewhere. if you like, i can look it up for you and send you the recipe. let me know.

                                1. I make three chilis which are my favorite ... A white chili with turkey, white beans, some cumin, cinnimon and great spices; Traditional chili; and my black bean chili with chorizo which I love. They are too long to list here but you can contact me or check out my blog.



                                  1. Here's my recipe for chicken chili
                                    start with a whole chicken, giblets removed, and cavity rinsed.
                                    put the chicken in a stock pot, and cover it with water.
                                    add 1 chipotle pepper, with a tablespoon of adobo, one large onion (quartered), salt, pepper, and chili powder.
                                    boil the chicken until it starts to fall apart.
                                    remove the chicken, strain the liquid.
                                    shred the chicken, return it to the pot along with 1/2 the liquid.
                                    add one 32 oz can diced tomatoes, 1 jar of thick medium salsa, 1 chopped onion, 2 cans of kidney beans.
                                    season with salt, pepper, ground cumin, 1 more chipotle, 1 tablespoon of adobo, chili powder, worcestershire sauce, and anything else you may like in chili. everything except the chipotle and adobo are to taste.
                                    Let the chili simmer until the chicken is tender, and everything else is done.
                                    Thicken the chili with a slurry of cornstarch and water.

                                    1. Where chili is concerned, I (as a Louisvillian) have a favorite: Timothy's White Chili. I make it at least once a month--sometimes more--anytime the weather's cool.


                                      1. Here are my three favorites ... I swear by each one.

                                        Beef Chili:

                                        1 lb ground round
                                        1 large onion diced
                                        2 ribs celery diced
                                        1/2 green pepper
                                        2 cans light red kidney beans, don't rinse or drain
                                        2 cans dark red kidney beans, don't rinse or drain
                                        1 can of chili beans
                                        1 can of green chilis
                                        2 cans crushed tomatoes
                                        2 cups of V-8 juice
                                        3 tablespoons garlic
                                        3 tablespoons chili powder (according to taste)
                                        2 tablespoons of all purpose seasoning
                                        Salt and pepper to taste
                                        3 teaspoons cumin
                                        2 teaspoons hot sauce
                                        1 bay leaf
                                        1 tablespoon sugar
                                        1 can beer, I prefer dark beer like a Amber Bock or something similar
                                        Olive oil for sauteeing

                                        In a large pot, saute onions, celery, pepper and garlic in olive oil till soft, about 5 minutes, add beef and cook until brown. Add seasoning, tomatoes, beans, chilis, and any remaining ingredients. Yes it is spicy, but adjust accordingly. It really isn't as hot as you might expect. Cook a good hour or so till everything combines well. Serve and top with sour cream, scallions and cheddar cheese. I like to also serve a good crunchy French bread or baquette.

                                        Black Bean Chili:

                                        1 package of chorizzo (approximately 4 links)
                                        1 large onion diced
                                        2 ribs celery diced
                                        1/2 green pepper diced
                                        2 jalapenos diced (remove ribs and seeds if you want less spice)
                                        1/2 red pepper diced
                                        3 cans black beans, don't rinse or drain
                                        2 cans crushed tomatoes
                                        2 cans chicken broth
                                        1 cup corn (frozen is fine)
                                        3 tablespoons garlic
                                        1 tablespoon oregano
                                        2 tablespoons chili powder (according to taste)
                                        1 tablespoon of all purpose seasoning
                                        Salt and pepper to taste
                                        3 teaspoons cumin
                                        2 teaspoons hot sauce (OPTIONAL)
                                        Olive oil for sauteeing

                                        In a large pot, saute chorizzo until brown, remove and drain on a paper towel. In the same pot saute onions, celery, peppers and garlic in olive oil till soft, about 5 minutes, and cook until brown. Add chorizzo back in seasoning, tomatoes, beans, and any remaining ingredients. It really isn't too spicy but is very good. Cook a good hour or so till everything combines well. Serve and top with sour cream, diced avacado, and a caso blanco cheese, a soft white melting mexican cheese. This is also very good served over a couple of spoons on white rice. Excellent chili. Feel free to substitute chorizzo with ground turkey or chicken or other sausage.

                                        White Chili:

                                        1 lb ground turkey or chicken
                                        1 large onion diced
                                        2 ribs celery diced
                                        1/2 yellow pepper diced
                                        1/2 red pepper diced
                                        4 cans cannellini beans or white beans, don't rinse or drain
                                        1 can of green chilis
                                        1 can crushed tomatoes
                                        1 box of chicken broth or approximately 3 cans
                                        3 tablespoons chili powder (according to taste)
                                        1 tablespoons of all purpose seasoning
                                        1 tablespoon cilantro
                                        Salt and pepper to taste
                                        3 teaspoons cumin
                                        2 teaspoons hot sauce
                                        2 bay leafs
                                        1 teaspoon cinnimon
                                        1 cup apple juice (It sounds wierd, but it is great), just buy one of
                                        those little cans at 7-11 if you don't have any
                                        1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
                                        1 teaspoon allspice
                                        1 teaspoon nutmeg
                                        1 can of white corn (OPTIONAL) Sometimes I add it ... sometimes not
                                        Olive oil for sauteeing

                                        In a large pot, saute onions, celery, pepper and garlic in olive oil till soft, about 5 minutes, add turkey or chicken and cook until brown. Add seasoning, tomatoes, beans, chilis, and any remaining ingredients. Yes it is spicy, but adjust accordingly. It really isn't as hot as you might expect. Cook a good hour or so till everything combines well. Serve and top with sour cream and scallions. I love to serve with grilled bread that I rub with garlic, then chop up tomatoes and jalapenos and put on the bread and top with monterey jack and melt.

                                        Enjoy, I hope you try at least one of these. Great chilis and will easily feed 6-8 people! A great weekend meal or make on the weekend and enjoy during the week. These are my recipes. Add what you enjoy.

                                        1. Haven't tried any of these yet but I think it is interesting how they are cooked in stages. Probably brightens up the favors before serving.


                                          1. I find that most chili recipes don't get nearly hot enough for me, but I want plenty of flavor as well as heat, so over the years I've evolved this recipe, which includes chilpotles, cayenne, chili powder, and jalapeƱos: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/494801

                                            And never - NEVER! - use ground beef, only cubed or, if you're lucky enough to live in a part of the country where you can get it, chili grind.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: BobB

                                              I have had cubed, hate it ... but that is how I grew up. And hot ... you haven't had mine. Lots of flavor and lots of depth but lots of heat. I like mine hot.

                                              However, I get cubed and have it fresh ground. My favorite. Don't always, but serving for anything other than me, yes that is what I do.

                                            2. I host a once-a-month chili cook-off at http://foodsandflavorsofsanantonio.bl.... There are lots of really good chili recipes provided by foodies that will warm you from the inside out.

                                              1. I have the official chili society cookbook which has some great recipes... I can post some if you would like ?

                                                1. Just a quick observation ... instead of tomatoes, sauce, whole, crushed, whatever, use jarred salsa. Adds a little complexity easily.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: Meann

                                                    For me, any form of tomatoes in chili makes it too acidic, too close to Italian red sauce. But that's one of those things, like adding beans or not, that people tend to be on one side of or the other. I'm OK with beans but not tomatoes.

                                                    And don't get me started on the subject of vegetables in chili - onions and garlic sure, anything else and you've made vegetable soup (holding my arms up now in the form of a cross).

                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                      There are no onions in chili. Lots of garlic, sure.

                                                      Red meat (diced, not ground), lots of rehydrated chile pulp (mix of anchos, guajillos, pasillas, cascabels, arbols, etc.), water, garlic, cumin, Mexican oregano, salt. That's it. No mas.


                                                      1. re: Jim Washburn

                                                        Can you find a recipe in this International Chili Society collection that does not have onions?

                                                        1. re: paulj

                                                          Ha! I won't waste my time looking. I SCOFF at 99.99+ per cent of all so-called recipes for chili, so it's highly likely I would SCOFF at all those recipes on that web site, too. Any recipe that calls for onions is a recipe for not-chili.


                                                          1. re: Jim Washburn

                                                            This is what I love about chili discussions - they always bring out such delicate ambivalence!