Secrets of Super Bowl Victory of Another Kind: SOCHILI Gold Medal Chili

For 13 years running, Dr. Jordan Metzl has gathered friends and family on Super Bowl Sunday for parallel competition:  a chili cook off.  1779134_10151812819386377_1287420958_nOn this, the second biggest eating day of the year in America, the good doctor figured he’d add some structure to this annual eat-fest.  And it’s a serious smack down, with a bit of a circus-like atmosphere — those who enter are tasked as much with embellishing their pot of goodness with marketing efforts, that has included the added allure of adorable babies, puppies, entire families dressed in disco garb (Dad as Cher in drag), slick video commercials, Tabasco samples, touts from Sports Illustrated cover girls, and in my case this year, a social media #hashtag.

The past two years, my short rib mole chili — not really a chili, per se, but rather a very rich beef stew — took away 2nd place/honorable mention honors, twice.  I decided to switch things up a bit with a tried and true chili recipe that I’ve tweaked over the years and adapted from the Silver Palate’s Good Times Cookbook’s chicken chili recipe.  My SOCHIli Gold Medal Chili was the crowd pleaser last night and took home the big trophy.  Good things need to be shared!

The magic:  uniform chopping, patience, a very, very big cast iron dutch oven, using very specific and flavorful chili powders, locally brewed chocolate stout beer and locally made secret ingredient.

Warning:  this recipe has HEAT.  Not tongue-scalding hot, but definitely has an undercurrent of spice.  Cut the chili powder back by as much as 50% if you want to dial it back.

Enjoy!

Jeanne’s SOCHILI Gold Medal Chicken Chili (Adapted from the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook) 

ingredients

6 tablespoons olive oil
1 very large yellow onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet red peppers, seeded, cored and diced
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 1/2 tablespoons chipotle chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch ground cinnamon
3 whole chicken breast (6 halves), skinned, boned and cut into 1 inch cubes (cut them uniformly!)
2 cans (16 ounces each) tomatoes in puree, chopped
8 ounces pitted ripe california olives, sliced
1 bottle of Brooklyn Brewery Black (chocolate stout)
¼ cup grated unsweetened chocolate from Brooklyn’s own Mast Brothers’ chocolate
salt, to taste
garnishes:
Sour cream or greek yogurt
grated Cabot Cellars Vermont cheddar cheese
sliced scallions
diced avocados (ideally, firm and sprinkled with fresh limed juice)

preparation

Chop all the vegetables:

Onion gets a good dice — approx 1/4″ pieces;
Garlic gets a fine mince;
Jalapenos:  important to remove seeds and white membrane from inside; mince;
Red pepper:  good dice in 1/4″ pieces as with onion;
Cook the veg and spices:
Heat half of the olive oil in a dutch oven over high heat (I use a giant cast iron one, any heavy soup pot will do).
Add the onion and garlic and saute for 5 minutes. Add the red and jalapeno pepper and saute over medium heat for 10 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, coriander and cinnamon and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat and set aside.
Brown the chicken:
Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken breast that has been cut into 1″ pieces.  Brown the chicken in batches in the remaining olive oil in another large skillet until just cooked through.   Don’t crowd  — each piece of chicken should touch the bottom of the pan — turn with tongs to brown them.
Put it all together:  
Add the chicken, tomatoes with puree, olives and beer to the dutch oven and stir to combine. Simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes. Stir in the grated chocolate and season to taste with salt. Serve with garnishes.

#sochili #teamjeanne #thanksforagreatparty!

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