Thursday, February 4, 2010

My Dad's Foolproof Chili

Recipes and I are not good friends. In fact, you may remember my post a while back about my continual mishaps with trying to make a pineapple upside down cake for my husband’s birthday. (This past year, by the way, I ordered a fabulous one from a bakery!)

I do like to cook, but I’m a big fan of raw foods (fruit and vegetable salads) and things that require very little ingredients to be good (roasting chicken, baked salmon). I have problems following recipes with a lot of ingredients and actually measuring it all out, and quite often I’ll make up my own recipes. I recently invented an eggplant parmagiana casserole that caused my husband to look for the takeout pizza menu as I was preparing it, but then, it turned out delicious, (and thus, he apologized and skeptically praised my culinary skills!)

So, like I said, there are very few recipes that I actually follow, but I do have my dad’s recipe for chili printed out and in the drawer in my kitchen, and whenever it’s chilly out, this is my favorite dish to make. (I’ve modified it, of course, and I approximate on the spices!). But here you go:

--2 lbs ground chicken or turkey (You could also use ground beef as the original recipes calls for, but I don’t eat ground beef, so I usually make it with the chicken.)
--1 large yellow onion, sliced or chopped
--3 cloves garlic, chopped (I usually cheat and substitute a few sprinkles of garlic powder.)
--2 15.5 oz cans kidney beans, drained
--1 28.5 oz can of whole tomatoes
--1 6 oz can tomato paste
--1/4 t Tabasco sauce (I’ve been leaving this out lately so my kids don’t complain it’s too spicy.)
--2 T Worcesteshire sauce
--2 t chili powder (I’ve been halving this lately to cut down on the spiciness)
--3 t cumin (I sometimes halve this as well.)
--2 T pickapepper sauce (This ingredient is extremely hard to find, but it makes the whole dish!)
--1 bottle dark beer or ale (I’ve been leaving this out since my kids have started eating it. I think the alcohol burns off, but still, the last thing I need is my toddler getting a beer buzz from the chili! Without the beer I sometimes add about a half cup of water so it doesn’t get too thick.)
--1/4 t black pepper
--1/2 t red pepper flakes
--1 bag corn chips
--1 16 oz bag grated chedder
--1 8 oz container of sour cream

Brown chicken (or meat) in a large pot with a small amount of oil. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until onion is soft, approx. 10 mins. Meanwhile remove tomatoes from can and cut into small pieces, reserve liquid. Add all other ingredients; the last two should be to add the juice from the tomatoes and then blend in tomato paste. Cover and bring to slow boil and cook for at least 30 mins. Serve with chips, sour cream, and sharp cheese.

This chili recipe has been in our family for as long as I can remember, and I have to say, the best part about it is that even if you mess around with the ingredients, it always comes out tasting good – and those are really the only kinds of recipes I can live with!


Tracy Madison said...

We are HUGE chili fans in this house, so this is a recipe that I'm fairly sure everyone would love. I wonder if it could be prepared in a slow-cooker with good results? Hmm, I'll have to try.

Lisa Patton said...

All I can say about this recipe is YUMMMMMMMMM!