Chili – Mark I

Nothing helps fix a cold day quite like a bowl of chili, you know? The weather here in Northern Florida continues to stay in the 30’s and 40’s so I needed something pretty warm to keep me going throughout the day as well as fill me up right.  I was digging around my spice cabinet and decided that I would make chili, but instead of using a recipe or “chili powder,” I’d go ahead and make the whole thing from scratch and winging the whole thing.  I admit, this could have gone horribly wrong, but amazingly it came out great.


Mmm... chili and chips! A better combo was never invented.

To be completely honest, Jess thinks it could be a tad less spicy, but I do so love the burn, so you’ll notice quite a few peppers in here.  If you make it, feel free to leave ’em out or sub some less spicy ones (example, I use the spicier dried New Mexican Anaheim pepper instead of the more mild Ancho).

The funny thing about this chili is the fact that I ended up adding more ingredients to it than I planned as I had them laying around.  Luckily the whole thing turned out tasting pretty darn good.  Example: Jess was making some salsa and had a leftover tomatillo… into the pot it went.  I also misjudged the amount of beans needed and ended up having to use some garbanzo beans I had to spectacular results.  So, follow along with me as I throw random kitchen ingredients into a pot and somehow emerge with chili!!


Mmm... toasty.


A bit o' spices.


Made a mess.


Nice lookin' veg.

Ingredient Breakdown:

  • 6 Chipotle Peppers (dried)
  • 2 New Mexico Peppers (dried)
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 2 slices Bacon (thick), diced
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seed
  • 2 Whole Cloves
  • 1 tsp Whole Peppercorns
  • 1 tsp Allspice berries
  • 1/4″ Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Tbs Cumin
  • 2 tsp Mexican Oregano (dried)
  • 1 tsp Epazote (dried)
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 15oz can Tomatoes (diced), undrained
  • 1 can White Beans
  • 1 can Black Beans
  • 1 can Garbanzo Beans
  • 3 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 1 Poblano Pepper, diced
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced
  • 1 Tomatillo
  • 1 Carrot, diced (small)
  • 2c Chicken Stock
  • 5 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 Habanero Peppers, minced
  • 3 Serrano Peppers, diced (small)
  • 1 c Corn (frozen or fresh)
  • Chayote Squash, diced
  • Avocado, diced
  • 1/3 c Cilantro (fresh)
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Seed, then soak dried peppers in 2c of boiling water for 30 minutes. Use a plate to keep peppers submerged.
  2. Toast coriander, cloves, peppercorn and allspice for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Careful not to let it burn.
  3. Add toasted spiced to spice grinder and pulse until powdered.  Add to other dry spices & reserve.
  4. Add soaked peppers, 1/2 onion, chicken stock and 1/2 tomatoes to blender.  Blend until smooth.
  5. Heat a pot over medium heat and add diced bacon.  Cook until looking crisp, but not burnt.
  6. Add poblano, remaining 1/2 onion, garlic, carrot and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook for 8 min until veggies are softened.
  7. Add habanero, serrano and spice mixture. Cook for one minute, stirring so everything is well coated.
  8. Add turkey and cook for 5 min, or until cooked through.
  9. Add 1 Tbs tomato pastes and 1 cup of sauce from blender. Cook 8 min, or until reduced by 1/3.
  10. Add remaining tomatoes, corn and squash.  Stir and cook another 3 minutes.
  11. Add remaining sauce and beans. Cook another 10 minutes, or until your desired thickness.
  12. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Turn off heat.
  13. Add cilantro, tomatillo and avocado.  Enjoy!

That’s it!  As I mentioned above, many of these ingredients can be changed around or left out and the results would probably still be very tasty!  This is my first time trying to make chili without a recipe, so any advice is welcomed!  On that same note, what’s your favorite chili recipe?

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