A thick, hearty chili that’s full of flavor, the “secret” ingredients here are cinnamon, red wine, and a dried chipotle pepper. This chorizo and beans chili recipe is equally perfect for a winter potluck or a quiet night at home.
Sharing a chili recipe may not be in my best interest. Everyone has a chili recipe that is the best chili recipe and damned be the fool that tries to mess with the chili. I mean, what other food has its own cook off? Chili is serious business.
I’m actually pretty blasé about chili. I like it in the winter when it’s cold outside or as a game day appetizer, but other than that, I don’t give chili a lot of thought.
So little thought, in fact, that I was surprised when the chicken chorizo chili recipe I saved turned out to be a standard tomato-based chili with chicken chorizo and not a white chicken chili with chorizo.
I was further surprised that I actually really liked this chili. And I’m talking that I liked it enough to make it my go-to chili recipe for winters to come.
Why did I like it? First, it was thick, and I love a chili that I practically need to chew instead of slurp. I’m not above crushing an entire sleeve of crackers into a bowl of chili to thicken it up to the point of how I like it, but that’s probably not good for me or the chili.
If you prefer a thinner chili, consider subbing tomato juice for the tomato puree or thin the soup with a bit of broth.
Second, it was spicy, but not too spicy. The chorizo and chipotle pepper provided a nice heat and kicked up the flavor. If heat is not your jam, sub in a traditional pork sausage or forget about the chipotle.
Third, it’s the perfect pot to make on a Sunday afternoon because you can add that splash of red wine leftover from Saturday evening. You could also sub in dark beer.
This recipe does make quite a bit of chili – 12 to 15 servings – so it’s great for a party. It also freezes well, so you can enjoy some now and save some for later. Enjoy!
Chicken Chorizo and Beans Chili
Yield 12 servings
24 ounces chicken chorizo
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small to medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup red wine or dark beer (optional)
1, 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1, 28-ounce can tomato puree
1 dried chipotle pepper
3 bay leaves
2, 15-ounce cans beans of your choice (pinto, black, or white)
optional toppings: shredded cheddar, cilantro, sour cream, avocado
- Remove the chicken chorizo from its casings, break it up into bite-size crumbles, and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic and cook until softened, about five minutes.
- Stir in the chili powder, dried oregano, and cinnamon.
- Next add the wine or beer, if using, diced tomatoes, tomato puree, and chicken chorizo.
- Drop in the dried chipotle pepper and bay leaves and stir until blended.
- Cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and simmer for 30 minutes to two hours, stirring occasionally.
- Remove the bay leaves and dried pepper from the chili.
- Rinse the beans well and stir them into the chili before serving.
- Garnish with assorted toppings.
I used two, 12-ounce packages of Aidells brand chorizo smoked chicken sausage for this chili.
If you use a chorizo or other sausage that is not fully cooked like the Aidells, you'll want to start by browning the sausage in the large pot you plan to use for the chili. Cook for a few minutes (it doesn't need to cook all the way through), and then use a slotted spoon to remove and set aside the browned sausage. Continue by adding the olive oil to the pot and softening the onion and garlic. Stir the sausage back into the chili in step 5 when you add the dried chipotle pepper and bay leaves.