Here’s a classic football food favorite, which gets better the second day for leftovers. Using chipotles in adobo, smoked sausage, and bacon adds a wonderful smoked flavor to the chili. Serving the chili in a bread bowl creates a great all in one meal.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 1 ½ – 2 hours
½ lb (about 1 cup) dried red kidney beans (or your bean of choice), soaked at least 8 hours
2 – 14oz cans diced tomatoes, crushed with a potato masher
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 quart of chicken broth
2 onions, finely chopped
2 red peppers, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb. ground beef
2 strips of bacon, diced
2 links of smoked sausage, diced
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced, plus 1 teaspoon of sauce
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Salt and pepper
¼ cup filtered water
1 Recipe Bread Dough (optional), for bread bowls
Place the soaked beans in a 7-quart braising pot or soup pot and add enough water to cover the beans by one inch. Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes and then turn the heat down so the beans are just simmering. Simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour.
While the beans cook, dice the bacon and the sausage. Sauté the bacon in a 12-inch skillet until crisp. Remove from the pot and reserve. Sauté the sausage until cooked through and a bit crisp. Remove from the pot and reserve.
While the bacon and sausage crisp, chop the 3 onions, 2 red peppers, 3 celery stalks, and 4 cloves of garlic. Once the bacon is removed from the skillet, add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet if there is not enough bacon/sausage grease in the skillet. Add the onion, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the celery, red pepper, and garlic to the skillet and sprinkle with a bit more salt and continue to sauté until all the vegetables are soft. Once the vegetables are soft, stir in the tomato paste and heat through. It’s okay if brown bits begin to form on the bottom of the skillet. Keep warm, but do not burn the paste and vegetables.
Once the beans have cooked for 45-60 minutes, add in the chicken broth, both cans of tomatoes (crushed with a masher), 1 bay leaf, 2 teaspoons paprika, 3 teaspoons chili powder, ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, the minced chipotle chile in adobo, 1 teaspoon of adobo sauce, 2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons brown sugar. Let cook for 5-10 minutes then taste for additional seasoning. Add the vegetable mixture to the beans. Pour about a ¼ cup water into the skillet and scrape up the fond (brown bits) with a wooden spoon or whisk. Pour into the beans. Add the meat to the beans. Cook for about another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary.
Serve with some crusty bread or in a bread bowl.
For the bread bowls let the dough rise is bowls and gently turn out onto a baking sheet to create the round bowl shape.