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A Step-by-Step Guide to Making Chili

Lisa C
Posted by Lisa C on Oct 16, 2015

When the leaves start falling and the air outside gets colder, I like to make my go-to chili recipe. There is something so comforting about chili to me in the midst of fall and winter. If you read my blog about football food, then you know chili is always on my Superbowl menu!  

I don’t know about you but doing dishes is my least favorite thing to do when it comes to cooking. That is why I love one pot recipes like my fabulous chili. So follow along, and I’ll teach you step by step how to make my favorite chili!

Step 1: Mise en Place

Canned diced tomatoes, beef broth, chili beans, kidney beans, chili powder, garlic and onion powder, cumin, oregano, basil, salt and pepper, diced onion, green pepper, carrots, jalapeno, chipotle pepper, diced pork belly, ground turkey is what you'll need.


Step 2: Browning the Meat

After browning the pork belly, I remove it from the pan and add the ground turkey. While the turkey is browning, I add 2-3 teaspoons of all dried spices and 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Once the spices become aromatic, I remove the turkey from the pan.


Step 3: Caramelizing the Vegetables

Now I add all of the diced vegetables. The reason why I brown the meat first is to get all of the caramelization on the bottom of the pan and to render out the fat in order to cook the vegetables. Next, I add 2-3 more teaspoons of seasoning while the veggies are caramelizing.


See the fond on the bottom of the pan!

Step 4: Adding the Liquids

Next add the beans, canned tomatoes, all of the meat and top off with just enough broth to cover everything by 1 inch.


By adding canned tomatoes that are acidic all that goodness lifts right off the bottom of the pan. This is called deglazing.

Step 5: Simmering

Once it has simmered for 1 hour, don’t forget to taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Then continue to simmer until slightly thickened.


After 30 minutes ↑                                                                                   After 2 hours ↑


Now have a wonderfully aromatic and deliciously tasting pot o’ chili. What next? The Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread, of course! The cool thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to your liking. If you don’t want jalapenos just omit and add what you like! If you don’t even want to make cornbread (because sometimes one pot is enough to clean), my next go-to chili accompaniment is Fritos. 

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

6 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup cornmeal

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

2 eggs, beaten

1 ¼ cup buttermilk

1 jalapeno, minced

½  - 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • Grease a 6x6 square pan with butter.
  • Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  • Mix the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter in a separate bowl.  
  • Add the dry to the wet ingredients until just combined.  
  • Fold in the cheese and the jalapenos.  
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  
  • Optional: top with honey butter when the cornbread comes out of the oven.


Now we are ready to build our bowl of chili. I always like to top my chili off with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Grab a handful of Fritos or a square of cornbread and you are ready to go!  


Embrace the cold with your new go-to chili recipe. The thing to remember about having a go-to recipe is it isn't about the ingredients used but the process behind it. So if you don't have a particular ingredient on hand that I used then go ahead a sub it out. Get creative!  The sky's the limit when it comes to this recipe as long as you follow the steps listed above. 

For other one pot recipes, check out The Chopping Block's Braising Boot Camp or our Back to Braising cooking class, where you will learn the perfect recipes to warm up on a cold day.

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Topics: braising, Chili, fall

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