The Secret Ingredients to an Award-Winning Chili | Wednesday’s In the Know
With cooler temperatures and chili cook-off competitions at an all-time high, I found it extremely beneficial to share my top tips and secret ingredients for an award-winning chili! You can thank me later!
When making a chili, creating a balance is critical. A perfect balance of flavors and spices, textures, heat and color, all contribute to the overall outcome.
Make sure you add seasoning toward the beginning of the cooking process and adjust toward the end, so that your spices have time to infuse the other ingredients and reach their ultimate potential.
Whether using animal protein or keeping it vegetarian, you can still make an incredible chili! If you are using animal protein, like ground beef or turkey for example, make sure you brown it first to offer that delicious flavor profile. Raw meat should never be used in chili!
Use homemade or the best quality no sodium stock you can get your hands on. Kitchen Basics is my favorite!
Onions, garlic, peppers…make sure you cook them first!
Which beans you use is essential. Dry beans soaked overnight and cooked day of, are my go to, but canned beans are fine too! Just make sure you strain and rinse before using to remove any extra sodium content. As far as how many beans to use, you need enough to make the chili hearty and give it substance. The problem comes when your “classic” chili gets confused for a bean stew.
I know some people like their chili hot, but consider your audience and find something in the middle. Just remember, too much spice can overwhelm and distract from your dish’s true potential.
Don’t forget an abundant topping bar! Cheese, sour cream or Greek yogurt, chives, tomatoes, and tortilla strips and even Frito corn chips, all make for a great finishing touch.
For other terrific tips and hundreds of recipes, like my pictured vegetarian butternut squash chili, visit my website (thetabletogether.com). While there, consider “subscribing” and I will send a new tip or blog post directly to your inbox every Tuesday and Wednesday morning!
P.S. Make sure you check out my YouTube channel, The Table Together with Tiffany Lewis, solely dedicated to bringing all of these fantastic tips and recipes to life!
Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!
Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!