Chili quest – First attempt

Back in August I was inspired by Rhubarb and Honey’s The 100 list. It is Kimberly’s way to document all the recipes she’s ever wanted to try but hasn’t yet. I thought this “kitchen bucket list” was a fantastic idea and originally intended to make it a standing category, like Kimberly did. But I found it really hard to commit to 100 recipes that are the end all, be all of my kitchen existence. Instead the Word document I have saved as “Recipe bucket list” is really more of a space to save inspiration (like a ghetto Pinterest), save for one item: Hubster Approved Chili.



In the 6 plus years we’ve been married I’ve never turned out a single bowl of chili that would earn Hubster’s approval. Thus far there have been two basic eras in my chilim cooking life: “That in which I made chili flavored soups” and “That in which I did not try at all.”


I’m sure you can surmise that the soupy chili phase was first. I see tons of quick chili recipes and in my chili naivety, I assumed one of these recipes would fit the bill. Unfortunately, no matter how good the dish tasted, Hubster always called it watery. And despite my protestations that I followed the recipe exactly, he’d just say “This isn’t chili. You can’t make chili in 20 minutes. It has to cook all day.” Knowing what I know now, I totally see his point, but being the completely reasonable person that I am I decided that the obvious choice was to stop cooking ‘chili’ all together.



So while there are very few “I must make this perfectly before I die” recipes for me, chili for Hubster is at the top of the list. So this pot of chili ends the dark ages of chili production in our house and ushers in a quest to find the perfect recipe.


Jenna of Eat Live Run had a chili recipe that seemed like a good place to start. I made a few tweaks, like using beef and beer in place of turkey and wine. Plus I tossed in some extra cayenne.

I have to say it was the best pot of  chili I’ve made to date. Finally the thickness was right! No soup here! But sadly it’s not the perfect one. It was a touch too sweet and Hubster was not a fan of the diced tomatoes I used in lieu of crushed. So the quest continues. I figure we have all winter (and the next one… and the next one…)

Mandy - December 14, 2011 - 7:57 pm

I will follow your quest with interest. I’m looking for the perfect one, too.

Natalie - December 18, 2011 - 11:07 pm

I’ve also tried Jenna’s chili with the turkey and the wine and it’s really good. (Plus you get to drink wine while making chili which is a bonus.) I liked it enough to make it more than once and served it over spaghetti, as she suggets. But alas, it is not the holy grail of chili for my husband either.

hhawes - December 20, 2011 - 1:57 am

Drinking wine while cooking is always a plus :) I think we got closer to the right chili this weekend! Now I might be going for “perfect” rather than just “approved”!

[…] you’re tracking the Chili Quest you probably noticed that we skipped a number. For some reason my past self did not shoot the […]

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