Christmas Chili

Christmas Chili | Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

My work had a chili cook off last week. I lost. This didn’t surprise me. Even though I added a little bit of spice to my chili, it wasn’t nearly enough heat to satisfy the fire-breathing dragons that are my co-workers. I love working for a company which has so many fun events to help build teamwork, or in this case an event to make each entrant fight to be the one true champion and king or queen of chili. Competition in this event was blatantly evident, and the many different varieties of chili entered into the cook off were all extremely mouth-watering. Although most of the competing dishes were on the hot and spicy side of the chili heat spectrum, I did hear a lot of good comments about my mild and unique chili. I can live with that. I was just happy to finally get back into the kitchen and cook something that would be enjoyed by other people. Next year though, I’m going to have to kick up the heat.

Make a batch of this chili over the weekend; in between Christmas shopping, trimming the tree, or hiding catnip presents from the cat in a place where they won’t be able to find and completely destroy them before Santa can put them in their stocking. You’ll get to enjoy this chili for several days, which will give you even more time to appreciate doing the things you actually want to do throughout the holidays. Need some suggestions? Drive around your town to look at all of the Christmas lights and displays. People stood outside in the cold to put those lights up, most likely cursing under their breaths the entire time. Do them the courtesy of actually noticing. Bake a batch of cookies. Keep 1/3 of them for yourself, because cookies make everything better. Hand the other 2/3 of the cookies out to your neighbors. It’s a great way to say Happy Holidays, and you probably won’t be seeing much of them till spring, because it’s way too cold to be hanging outside shooting the shit. Don’t forget that it’s the holidays and your animals want to celebrate too. Let your kitty play with that leftover piece of ribbon, or that bow that’s kind of squished, that you would never even dream of putting on a beautifully wrapped gift. Maybe it will keep them from searching for that catnip stuffed Christmas present, but don’t count on it, because catnip is crack, and cat’s can’t help but sniff that shit out.

Christmas Chili | Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Sweet Yellow Onions, Finely Diced
  • 2 Pounds Ground Chicken
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, Crushed
  • 4 (15-oz.) Cans Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 (29-oz.) Can Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 (32-oz.) Carton Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 2 (15-oz.) Cans Dark Red Kidney Beans
  • 2 (15-oz.) Cans Great Northern Beans
  • 1 Bottle Porter
  • 1 Cup Dried Cranberries
  • 4 Tablespoons Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Pickled Jalapeños, Finely Diced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 4 Teaspoons Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt

Christmas Chili | Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onions and ground chicken in the olive oil, over medium-high heat, just until browned.
  2. Add all of the remaining ingredients and stir together.
  3. Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and cover.
  4. Cook covered for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  5. Uncover and continue cooking for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Christmas Chili | Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Suggestions:

  • I used Saranac Caramel Porter in this recipe, which is a perfect beer to cook with during the cold winter months.
  • Chili always tastes better the second day. Make this a day ahead of time and reheat on the stove or in a crock pot.
  • This recipe makes a lot of chili, but you won’t give a flying fig, because it’s great for lunch the next day.

Christmas Chili | Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Improvements:

  • Serve with Christmas Cornbread.
  • Sprinkle with chives before serving.
  • Replace the ground chicken with stew meat, and the chicken broth with beef broth.
  • Add more heat, either with hot sauce, fresh jalapeños, or additional chili powder.

Christmas Chili | Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice




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  • Debbie Spivey

    I grew some fresh catnip for my little dude and believe it or not the same plant has been in the same plastic container since David and I moved from Virginia Beach. It has moved across the state with us and is currently living outside our shed at our house now. You can’t kill it and it spreads. It seeded a sprig or two was growing in the driveway crack of our last rental. Atchee boy loves it and DEMANDS it!!

    • Debbie Spivey

      Oh, and the chilli looks delicous too! 😉

    • Colleen

      Brenna doesn’t get it too often because it makes her even more bitchy and she makes a mess with it!