D's Green Chili-Chili

 I’m going to be honest with you here. And if you have any kind of sense about you, you’re probably going to be the opposite of shocked. Honestly, this is probably going to sound like a waste of my precious little finger-strength. But, just stick with me for a minute.

Food is huge to me. *Shocker* I have a handful of my very favorite recipes and each of these recipes has a special place in my heart, for whatever specific reason.

During the winter months, chili has always been my favorite. Even though my sister was possibly just a tiny bit spoiled and we ate more “chicken and dumplings” and “potato soup” than I would ever have preferred because it was her favorite…It’s no big deal and I’m completely healed from that. Chili was my favorite and it still is.

This is my grandpa’s recipe, as a lot of my favorites are. Following his life model, I’ve made a few changes and I’m not going to lead you astray: this chili will knock your soul right into alignment. I don’t want to make any promises, but if you think your life might be falling apart just a little bit, this chili might just fix it up a little bit. No promises. Don’t cancel any appointments with your therapist.

D’s Green Chili-Chili

1 Pound Cubed Stew Meat

1 Pound Italian Turkey Sausage

1 White or Yellow Onion, diced

2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Poblano Pepper, roasted and skinned

1 Large Can Tomato Sauce

1 Large Can Stewed or Diced Tomatoes

1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste

1 Heaping Tablespoon Cocoa Powder

1 Can Red Kidney Beans, optional

Salt & Pepper, to taste

1 Teaspoon Cumin & Paprika or Cayenne, approximately

If you are using a fresh poblano pepper, roast it so that you will have a developed flavor and can remove the tough, bitter skin. If you’ve never roasted peppers or have no idea what I speak of, click this video. If you feel in your soul that this is just too much for you, use green chilies in the can. If you go with the fresh poblano, be prepared for a seriously awesome flavor. The choice is yours. Live your truth.

Using a heavy stew pot, brown the turkey sausage and stew meat over medium-high heat with about 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. When it is cooked through, transfer to a plate or dish covered in paper towels, to drain off any excess grease.

Next, throw the onion and garlic straight into the stew pot and cook until tender, stirring often. When the veggies are translucent, dice the poblano and mix it in. Stir in the browned meat and season the mixture with salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne pepper (If you don’t like “spicy,” smoked paprika is a great substitute for cayenne). Follow your heart on measurements but make sure and go just a little bit heavy. Nothing is better than a “robust” chili when your insides are frozen from the devil of winter (also known as: snow) so don’t skimp on flavor!

Stir in the tomato sauce, paste and kidney beans. Before I throw in the beans, I like to give them a good drain and rinse. It reduces the amount of sodium you are adding to your food and maybe just makes you feel a little healthier. And really, that’s what it’s all about. How you feel.

And the fact that the phrase “how you feel” makes me want to start rapping Drake should really not be judged at this point.

Stir so that your chili is combined and add water as necessary. It’s really up to you on how “hearty” you want this to be. Stir in a heaping spoon of cocoa powder and let the chili simmer on low for about an hour, or until you’re ready to dive in.

If you’re not already aware of this trick, cocoa powder tenderizes meat and brings out all of its natural flavor. It is delicious and will not “alter” the flavor of the chili. So don’t be afraid, my little turtle dove.

Serve this chili over a slice of cornbread that’s as big as your face and think of me the whole time.