Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 28, 2012 08:47 AM

Chicken Chili too acidic -help.

I'm making chicken chili for a crowd and I sort of doubled my recipe. It isn't a from scratch recipe - I use cheats like rotel chili fixins and Tabasco chili starter. Well it is a bit too acidic/vinegary. I've added molasses. Is there anything else I can do to cut the acid. Add baking soda?
This is actually for a fund raiser chili cook-off -so any help in keeping me from embarrassing myself is much appreciated.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. This may sound bizarre, but given that adding a little milk to tomato sauces cuts the acidity, I wonder if you could try the same in this case. Maybe put a little chili in a separate bowl, stir in a little splash of milk, and see what it does to the flavor?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kitchen Imp

      Just to clarify, I'm talking like a tablespoon of milk for your entire pot. It may work wonders to cut the acidity and be totally undetectable to anyone eating it.

      1. re: Kitchen Imp

        Thanks. I'm trying to be allergen conscious so I think I'll skip the milk. Interesting idea though.

      2. Sweetness helps to balance acidity. Try a little more molasses, its your best bet.

        4 Replies
        1. re: twyst

          Okay I did up the molasses and it seems to have helped. It has another few hours to cook so hopefully it will "mellow" even more.

          1. re: twyst

            Molasses is acidic, btw, but I agree with the sweetness idea.

            1. re: PamelaD

              You are absolutely right, it is. For some reason I had honey/syrup on the brain and forgot totally about the acidic qualities of molasses. Brown sugar or honey might be a better choice.

              Sweetness also cuts some of the heat so re-seasoning may be necessary.

              1. re: PamelaD

                I had no clue molasses was acidic. I use it as electrolyte solution with baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I pretty much add the ACV to help the baking soda dissolve.

                Well hubby says it has mellowed. Maybe it just needed more time. I'm afraid to make any more adjustments now. In the future though I'll add sugar -which is what I add to spaghetti sauce.

            2. I would suggest topping with sour cream, but you mentioned avoiding dairy. Potato may help. and salt.

              1 Reply
              1. re: cocktailhour

                Thanks. As it is a cook-off we serve the chili and there is a common "bar" area with cheese, sour cream, chives, etc that people can add as they wish. So I don't get to pick how they want to dish it up. But you do make me feel better -most people will probably add sour cream and/or cheese to theirs and even though we don't eat it like that -it probably will taste much less acidic to the average taster.

              2. Baking soda- a tiny bit at a time (1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon.)

                It neutralizes the acidity without altering the flavor like adding other ingredients would and doesn't throw your seasonings out of balance.

                1 Reply
                1. re: weezieduzzit

                  Thanks for the amounts. I think I may just add some. I've sort of over tasted at this point. Tabasco is inherently acidic so it might be okay now.

                2. Make more, without the Tobasco and go easy on the chili seasoning. Then combine.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    Thanks. I pretty much out of time -leaving here in 3 hrs and for my chili I cook it all day and I use marinated chicken that I roast. I'd do that if I wasn't needing it today at 5.