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Author Topic: My "secrets" for a decent pot of chili...  (Read 2262 times)
Mike Irwin
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« on: October 30, 2018, 03:17:09 AM »

First off, I'll admit that I was never very good at making chili. I always tried to do my own spices, and I was always disappointed. I finally started using the seasoning packets that you get at the grocery store, and that made things a lot better. Or at least a lot more consistent. But, over the past couple of years I've discovered a few other tricks, that in combination, really help to up the enjoyability for me...

1. Soak your own beans. Canned beans are convenient, but they don't have nearly the flavor of beans that you soak overnight, and beans you cook yourself add a lot of texture you don't get with canned beans.

2. Cook your beans BEFORE you add them to your chili. The acid in the tomatoes can make it very difficult, if not impossible, to get the beans soft if you try to cook the soaked beans with the chili.

3. Sear the living *expletive deleted*it out of your meat to brown it. That brown stuff is flavor.

4. Do the same thing with your onions. Get some caramel color in them.

5. If you think you're using enough garlic, you're not using enough. Trust me on this. More is better!

6. Be careful with the garlic. Throw it in with the meat/onions mix, but make sure it doesn't burn. Burned garlic is nasty.

7. After you've got the meat/onions/garlic cooked, add a cup or more of a hearty red wine. I prefer Malbec. It doesn't have to be expensive. Cook it until the wine is almost gone, then add the rest of your ingredients.

8. Don't be afraid to add two of the spice packets, and additional spices from your cabinet.


I've slowly put that together over the past couple of years, and it's the Malbec I use that was the final piece of the puzzle for making chili that I like.
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zxcvbob
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2018, 04:53:01 AM »

Try using dried peppers instead of chili powder.  (you'll also need a little cumin and oregano)  The varieties to look for are ancho, guajillo, and New Mexico.  Guajillo and New Mexico are interchangeable but slightly different.  I don't think there's any substitute for ancho.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2018, 05:57:35 AM »

Tried using dried peppers. Still wasn't happy with the outcome. That's when I started using the premixed seasoning packets. That gave me results a lot closer to what I wanted.
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Brad Johnson
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2018, 06:11:49 AM »

A) Beans in chili? Them's fightin' words! Yer probully wunna them folks who likes sweet cornbread.

B) Try finishing it with a healthy splash of heavy cream.  Not sure how to describe what it does, it's just... better. You can substitute a big dollop of sour cream for a little extra zing.

Brad
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Fly320s
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2018, 06:22:11 AM »

My secret to good chili?  Make this: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/ryders-turkey-chili-recipe-2103705

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zxcvbob
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2018, 06:45:02 AM »

Beans in chili is a false controversy.  Tomatoes is the real issue.
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Kingcreek
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2018, 07:20:21 AM »

We've had chili threads before, haven't we?
#1 should be START WITH BACON.
(Brown your meat in the bacon grease. Save the bacon crumbles for later. Serve the finished bowls of chili with a garnish topping of sour cream, diced green onion, and bacon crumbles.)
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2018, 07:34:38 AM »

Yep, beans is truly is a false controversy.

Tomatoes may also be a false controversy.

If one person/place had, at some point in the past, come up with the recipe, written it down, published it, then it might be a legitimate controversy.

But chili is just like stew (in fact, chili IS a stew). It was in large part working class food, developed by the less well off and often employing whatever ingredients were available, whether or not they were "approved and traditional."

Everyone claims that THEIR way is the RIGHT and ONLY way to make it, and that everyone else is a heretic...

I like my chili with beans. I also like my chili without beans.


I generally add beans to my chili because I like how they taste and they make a pot go a LOT farther, and one of my considerations for cooking stuff like this on the weekends is how many lunches (and the occasional dinner) I can get from the pot.

The pot I made last night made just shy of 12 cups. Without the beans it probably would have been closer to 8 cups.

So, 4 extra cup servings. That's enough to carry me into next weekend, meaning I don't have to cook for lunches for the rest of this week. And, tonight, I just may have chili over eggs (Egg Beaters) for dinner.
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Kingcreek
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2018, 07:45:22 AM »

I agree with you about using good dried beans properly prepped. I like pinto or black beans in chili.
I'm married to the spice queen. She buys in bulk and blends different spices and herbs as needed and per her standards. I have given up trying to make the blend and she always has a jar of something called chili seasoning. We don't have a spice drawer or even a spice cabinet. We have a spice pantry.
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zxcvbob
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2018, 07:45:52 AM »

I like beans in my chili as long as they don't overwhelm it.  I usually make it w/o tomatoes, but I will sometimes add a can of tomatoes as an extender.  IMHO, tomatoes should not be a major ingredient, but if you like it that way that's fine with me.  If you can't make good chili without adding tomatoes, something is wrong (not enough dried peppers, maybe too-hot peppers.)
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Brad Johnson
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2018, 08:44:30 AM »

Milk: Whole, 2%, or Skim... ?

Brad
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2018, 08:47:11 AM »

We've had chili threads before, haven't we?
#1 should be START WITH BACON.
(Brown your meat in the bacon grease. Save the bacon crumbles for later. Serve the finished bowls of chili with a garnish topping of sour cream, diced green onion, and bacon crumbles.)


No. First part of any good recipe is to marinate the chef.
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Fly320s
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2018, 01:48:56 PM »

Milk: Whole, 2%, or Skim... ?

Brad

Whole and 2% are milk.  Skim is not.
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2018, 03:12:57 PM »

Hurst Cajan 15 Bean Soup

I through out the season packet and use this for my beans. That's pretty much the only constant.

I don't worry too much about consistency from batch to batch. I've never made bad chili, so I tend to be random at the best of times and it works. 
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2018, 02:59:20 AM »

"I agree with you about using good dried beans properly prepped. I like pinto or black beans in chili."

I made this batch with pintos, but I'll use just about any kind of bean in my chili, including chick peas.

I got to talking to a coworker yesterday, and our talk turned to chili somehow, and I mentioned that I had cooked a batch. He started asking me about how I made mine, and I ran down through what I put on this list. He was very interested in my comments; even more so when I invited him to try it (I brought some for lunch). He's going to give my recommendations a try.

One thing I should also mention is that you can never have too many onions.
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« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2018, 11:59:20 AM »

Semi relevant..  I was in a chilli cook off yesterday at work.  My pretty standard "Texas Red" recipe lost out to this:

White Chicken chili :

3 chicken breasts
2 Cups Chicken broth
Ż teaspoon Cumin
pinch of Basil
Salt (start small and add until its right for youů I Love salt)
Pepper (same as above)
2 table spoons minced Garlic
2 cans Green Chilies
1 Can Hot Green Chilies
( I prefer to roast pablano chilies until skin is black and bubbling away from pepper and remove skin, tedious task but canned works just as well)
1 large can Las Palmas Green Chile Enchilada Sauce.
4 cans white beans (rinse and drain)
1 small bag frozen corn
1 softened Cream Cheese
1 Cup half and half
Mrs. Renfroĺs Green Salsa (This is the heat for your chili, I suggest start with a 1/2 cup and add for your heat level! This can be bought at Rosauers!

After 6 hours on high in a crock pot pull your chicken breasts and pull apart, return pulled chicken to the pot for another hour.
Best served on day 2 after refrigerated letting flavors mix but not necessary.
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« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2018, 09:32:16 PM »

Semi relevant..  I was in a chilli cook off yesterday at work.  My pretty standard "Texas Red" recipe lost out to this:

White Chicken chili :



That is just wrong.
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« Reply #17 on: November 02, 2018, 04:48:38 AM »


That is just wrong.

I donĺt know, I think it is OK.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #18 on: November 02, 2018, 06:05:38 AM »

I like white chili.

It's privilege is just absolutely awsome...

 


Actually, I think more of it as chicken & bean stew than chili. Haven't made a pot in a long time.
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« Reply #19 on: November 02, 2018, 07:52:23 AM »

I had a friend that used to make turkey chili, at least that is what he said. I just called it turkey and bean soup. Wink

bob
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« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2018, 08:23:46 PM »

Somewhere I read about cinnamon in chili and I tried it, usually toss a stick in and fish it out later. If you have a lot of spice it complements it nicely.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2018, 03:21:59 AM »

"Greek style" or Cincinnati style chili includes cinnamon, sometimes other spices, and sometimes chocolate.

Apparently the Greeks running diners in the Cincinnati area in the 1920s started adding chili to their menus, and started using the same spices that were used in Greek mousakka. They also started serving it over spaghetti.

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« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2018, 06:13:36 AM »

Apparently the Greeks running diners in the Cincinnati area in the 1920s started adding chili to their menus, and started using the same spices that were used in Greek mousakka. They also started serving it over spaghetti.



And they are wrong.  So wrong.  And they should be banned from making, serving, selling, or otherwise working with, Cincinnati "chili."  That stuff is disgusting.  I wouldn't even let fistful eat it.
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Mike Irwin
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« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2018, 06:47:06 AM »

Have a snickers bar...

Have a cinnamon chocolate snickers bar.

I put it in your chili for you.
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« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2018, 11:38:05 AM »

Cincinnati style is good if eaten over spaghetti topped with cheese, chopped onions and jalape˝os slices.

Itĺs not as good as regular chili as a stand alone chili IMHO.

Iĺll make Cincinnati style on occasion.

Mine isnĺt authentic though, I always use beans.
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