Though it’s easy to complain about schizophrenic weather patterns and to whine about the chill when the pendulum swings back toward Seasonal December temps, there are some definitely bright points about it being balls cold outside.

1.) Boots. I heart boots so much.

2.) Soup, stew, and chili.

chicken chiliThis recipe came together when I was cleaning some stuff out of the cabinet one night recently. You can totally leave out the chicken, as it’s filling as is, but if you have some pulled chicken fresh from the slow-cooker, it makes a wonderful addition.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (can omit)
  • sliced peppers, about 2 (I used about 2 cups of frozen, thawed)
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3-4 c water
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • extra cumin if desired
  • a few drops liquid smoke (optional)
  • ~1 c pulled chicken, preferably organic (optional)


  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and garlic. Cook until onion is soft.
  2. Add peppers, tomatoes, water, sauce, beans, spices, and liquid smoke. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add chicken (if using) and simmer another 30-45 minutes. Serve hot and topped with shredded cheese or other desired toppings.

I’m sure this would also be awesome with a little boozy something or other cooked in. Maybe I’ll try it with wine sometime. I know chili is often made with beer, but that would necessitate buying beer I’m not going to drink so…

What’s your favorite chili recipe? 

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