In my experience, telling someone how to make chili goes over about as well as messing with their first born. You make a suggestion, and they look at you like they want to knock you out. So, I’m not here to tell you how to make chili or how to make your chili better or to suggest secret ingredients. I’m just here to tell you what I put in my chili on one particular day.
It is not often that I enjoy the process of cooking. I bought a knife this year that set me back about as much as a monthly mortgage payment. Like a hot knife through butter, an expensive knife through vegetables makes things easy, so using it on something is always fun. Other than that, I could do without the whole cooking process. Chili in a slow cooker let’s me do just that.
The chili starts off like most with a base of tomatoes and beans and meat. I used chicken and chicken broth, but you could use beef and beef broth or add an extra can of beans for a vegetarian version (I used red kidney and black beans for this chili). Fire-roasted green chilis pack in some heat, and chipotle en adobo sauce adds a warm smoky flavor.
As for the beer, I used a bottle of Highland’s Gaelic Ale, which is best described as an amber ale in terms of flavor. Lighten the chili up with a pilsner or lager, or go bold with something dark. Work with the beer in this recipe the way you would any other “secret” chili ingredient.
My only real suggestion is to stick with the lime sour cream. If only I had thought to stir lime zest into sour cream before this chili. The best I can describe the flavor as is bright and refreshing, which makes it a nice complement to a heavy, warm chili.
Oktoberfest is drawing to a close, so this is my last “cooking with beer” recipe for the season. No need to worry if you are beer fan. Since time of year is good for a beer, I add recipes to my Beer + Food Pinterest board whenever I come across them.
If nothing strikes your fancy there, my pal Camilla has a virtual potluck featuring dishes made with beer recipes over on her blog Culinary Adventures with Cam. Now, it’s on to cookies… Enjoy!
- For the Chili
- 2 pounds cooked, shredded chicken
- 2, 15 ounce cans beans of your choice, rinsed and drained
- 1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
- 1, 12 ounce bottle of beer
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1, 14 ounce can tomatoes of your choice (whole, diced, etc.)
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1, 4 ounce can green chilis
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles en adobo)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- For the Garnish
- 1 cup sour cream
- zest of 1 lime
- Combine all chili ingredients - from the cooked chicken to the minced garlic - in a slow cooker and allow to cook on low heat for four to six hours until simmering.
- To serve, top with a garnish of lime zest mixed into sour cream.
For the chicken, I cooked two pounds of thighs in one cup of beer in the slow cooker over low heat for four hours. I allowed the chicken to cool, shredded it, then started the chili. The above recipe assumes the chicken is already cooked. Leftover rotisserie chicken would work well here.