What Makes the Best Chili?

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I recently visited the local restaurant/bar. (Yes it is conveniently located very close to our house, strategically positioned out in the country somewhere between one cluster of dirt roads and another.) While visiting, I learned about a summer chili cook off.

I have never competed in a chili cook-off before, but I think a little community engagement could be good out here in the country. I am pleased it will not take place for several months, giving me time to prepare. I currently use chili as a vessel for freeing my refrigerator of leftovers. And while this is always tasty, it isn’t worth sharing.

So today I will not share much more, but rather, I would like you to share with me. What makes the best chili? Whether it be ground beef, carrots, or beans, I would love to hear what everyone thinks. I will then use everyone’s opinions as I work to build the best chili possible. Thanks in advance for sharing!

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6 Responses to What Makes the Best Chili?

  1. Michael Struttman says:

    Hi Brooke, Here’s a recipe I got from my daughter’s friend. This recipe has actually won a contest before. I’ve made it several times and have always received rave reviews. The chicken and chorizo set it apart from many of the other entries. Good luck!

    Renee’s White Chicken Chili
    Ingredients:
    1 lb. chorizo sausage
    4 cups chicken breast, cooked and cubed
    2 cups mild salsa
    1 4 oz. can diced green chilies
    2 cups chicken broth
    2 cans (15.5 oz. each) great white northern beans
    16 oz. pepperjack cheese, cut into chunks

    Directions:
    Remove casing from chorizo sausage. In a Dutch oven brown the sausage for 6-8 minutes or according to package directions. Add chicken, salsa, green chilies and broth. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cover. Add beans and cheese 1/2 hour before serving. Stir, making sure cheese is completely melted.

  2. btc says:

    The only suggestion I have is that if you use ground beef keep it more chunky than ‘minced.’ I think it creates better texture and allows for one to distinguish flavors better.

    Chorizo is phenomenal in anything and great for chili.

  3. Heidi Ploetz says:

    Brooke… I like sauteed onions,green & red peppers in my chili. Alot of people don’t put peppers in chili, but I like that along with chili beans, baked bean & kidney beans. I also put in a tad bit of brown sugar. Grandma Keen makes it pretty much the same way too. It is really never the same twice! :)

    • brookeO says:

      I always put a little pinch of brown sugar in my chili, but I never knew it was the family secret! I have never used baked beans in my chili, I’ll have to try it. And I agree, I have never made the same pot of chili twice; I’m always just using whatever I have sitting around.

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