Tailgating Chili

Fall weather is here and football is back, which means it’s time for one recipe that has sat dormant all summer to make its debut. Chili!


I made this chili for the Packers vs. Bills game at Lambeau Field a couple weeks ago. The last time I was at Lambeau, Brett Farve was making his debut as a Viking. Anger and resentment permeated the crowd, but the atmosphere could not have been more different as the Bills took the field. Most people just have pity on the poor Bills fans. It was quite a jovial environment, and much to Eric’s surprise, I had fun! At a football game! Amazing!


Now, I normally do not cook chili from a recipe. I usually just start dumping stuff in the pot until it tastes good, so I’m going to try to approximate my measurements as best as possible. I changed it up a bit this time by incorporating some toasted New Mexico chiles – they’re optional, but really added another layer of flavor. Another “secret ingredient” is lots and lots of garlic. I think I used a whole head of fresh garlic and dumped another boatload of granulated garlic into the fold. I can’t pinpoint why, but I love the granulated garlic in my chili – maybe it’s more concentrated?



(this recipe makes A LOT of chili – tailgating portions of chili – so feel free to cut it in half or quarters)

1 pound ground turkey or chicken
2 large cans stewed tomatoes
1 large onion, diced
1 can black beans
, drained
1 can kidney beans, drained
2 carrots, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped and diced
1 head garlic, chopped
6-7 dried New Mexico chiles
2-3 tablespoons cumin
1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2-3 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2-3 tablespoons granulated garlic
salt & pepper

greek yogurt
cilantro, for garnish
green onions, for garnish

Saute the chopped onions and garlic in a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil for a couple minutes. Add the red pepper, carrots, and ground turkey and saute for a few minutes more, until the meat is browned. Then start dumping – the canned tomatoes, spices, and beans. Meanwhile, de-seed the dried chiles and toast them in a pan until fragrant. Transfer to a pot of boiling water and rehydrate – this should take 3-5 minutes. Blend the chiles with a few tablespoons or so of chile water – or enough water to make it easy to blend the chiles. You should be left with a sort of paste-like consistency, maybe slightly runnier. Mix this paste into the chili. Let this mixture simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Serve with a dollop of greek yogurt, green onions, and cilantro.


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