Chili (Competition Style)

We’ve been making this chili for at least 10 years.   We’re a picky bunch in this household, so competition style chili is they we go when it comes to chili.  But once you get the basics down, you can add whatever you wish to this (beans, corn, peppers, etc).

Start off with 1 1/2 to 1 lbs. ground Turkey (or ground beef or ground pork or a combination) and good in a large pot with olive oil, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper and approximately 1/2 to 3/4 cup water (the water will help emulsify the meat so you don’t get large clumps).  Once the meat is cooked and the liquid has cooked down (don’t drain this liquid away cook it down until you start to hear it sizzle, then if using ground beef with a lot of fat you can drain it then).  Stir the meat mixture vigorously while it’s cooking so it breaks up and cooks evenly.


While the meat is cooking measure out your spices.  4 Tbsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp Cayenne powder (use less if you want it less spicy or more if you like it hotter), 1 1/2 Tbsp. cumin powder, 1 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  (You can add 1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder to this as well).  Mix it all together until well blended.  (**You may not use all of this spice mixture as it does make quite a bit).


Once the meat has cooked add approximately 2 heaped Tbsp. of the spice mixture to the meat and stir it around before adding in any liquid.  This is essentially waking up the spices.  Then add in the liquids – 2 containers of beef broth (approx. 2 liters) and 1 jar strained tomatoes (if you cannot find strained tomatoes you can use tomato sauce – the large can).


Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low (approx. 2 to 2 1/2) and cook for approximately 6 to 7 hours.  This is a long process, but well worth it.

Give this a stir every hour and add a little more of the spices.  After about 4 hours give it a taste and see if it’s where you want it.  If it’s good, then you don’t need to add more spices, if you want it spicer then keep adding.  (**You can also add in a few dashes of hot sauce).

Once the chili is almost done, in order to thicken it up, I always use a corn starch slurry (2 heaped Tbsp. corn starch with 2 Tbsp. water).  However if you are adding other ingredients you may not need to thicken it up.


Sprinkle with cheese and sour cream and have a bowl of tortilla chips with this and it’s the perfect Super Bowl dinner.


Chili  (fills a 5 quart pot – enough for a lot of people or in my house 2 men).

1 1/2 to 2 lbs. ground turkey

Olive Oil (for cooking the ground turkey – if you are using ground beef you may not need the olive oil).

4 Tbsp. Chili powder

1/2 tsp. cayenne powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. cumin powder

1 1/2 Tbsp. onion powder

Salt and pepper (pinch)

  1.  In a 5 quart stock pot, over high heat, heat up oil and dump in your ground turkey (or ground beef) and approximately 1/2 cup of water.  Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir this vigorously until it is cooked.  Continue cooking until all the liquid has evaporated (do not strain out the liquid).
  2. While the liquid is cooking down measure out your spices into a bowl/glass.
  3. Once the liquid has cooked down, add approx. 2 heaped Tbsp. of the spice mixture.  Blend this in with the meat and cook for approx. 1 to 2 minutes to “wake up” the spices.
  4. Add in all the liquid (beef broth and tomato puree).  **If you want to add beer to this leave out some of the beef broth and replace with beer.
  5. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot and allow to cook for approximately 6 to 7 hours – stirring every hour and adding more spices (approx. 1 heaped Tsp. each time).  After 4 hours, give it a taste to see if it is spicy enough for you or if you need to add more spices.  **You can also had some hot sauce to the chili at this time – Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco.
  6. Approx. an hour before the chili is finished you can add whatever vegetables you wish to add or beans, your choice.
  7. If you find the chili needs to be thickened up – I use a corn starch slurry (2 heaped Tbsp. corn starch to 2 Tbsp. hot water).

**This chili freezes extremely well – without all the vegetables, so if you make this basic starting off point, you can always freeze it at this point in smaller containers and then whenever you feel like homemade chili, pull one out from the freezer, add your veggies and beans and there you go.


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