Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's Chili Weather!

Hot Hot Hot
I have the best husband in the universe!  Remember a long time ago he agreed to let me have chickens just so I could have fresh eggs.  And remember I am really a city slicker still adjusting to country living?  Unterstand too that I was not prepared for the carnage when two dogs attacked my flock (I was too upset to talk about it at the time).  I lost Marsala, Long Neck Lucy, and Maddie Rose.  Mother Clucker and Betty Jean (named for my mother in law) survived, but they were very upset for a few days.  Have you ever heard a chicken when they are upset?  It's pathetic.  So I bought more chickens, 5 Arucanas (they lay the green and blue eggs), "Peaches"(named for my mom), "Roberta"(named for my daddy), "New Marsala"(in honor of my favorite I lost), "Sophia" (for Sophia Lauren", and "Marylin" (she's all white, named for Marylin Monroe) and got talked into 2 Silkies ("Zsa" and "Eva"), the dumbest looking chickens on the planet.
A couple of days ago, more carnage.  Only this time it was I believe it was Mother Clucker that killed New Marsala.  Pecking order gone bad.  My husband now calls her a murderer, won't even use her name (he's the one that has to deal with the dead bodies, I can't take it).  So Jess had to build another chicken coop to separate the flocks for awhile.  Freezing his tail feathers off, to save the peeps.  Hence, the chili.
This is "Peaches" (my mother's name is Melba)

Marsala (the original, my favorite), RIP

Murderer on the left, she's got that look, right?

Back to the chili, that's why you're here.  More country... it was the last of our venison.  You can make this with regular chili meat if you like.  I can't stand packets of preservatives, so this is from scratch and it is fantastic.  Super easy and quick to put together but the longer it simmers the better it gets.  Perfect for our freezing temperatures after building a chicken coop in the windy cold.  I think he loves me!

Warm You To Your Toes Chili

2 pounds venison chili meat
1/4 C. olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp smoked paprika
1-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 bottle Shiner Bock Beer (or your favorite)
1/3 C. chili powder
1-1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp dried Mexican oregano (regular oregano is okay too)
1-1/2 tsp cumin

Brown the meat in oil.  Add onions and garlic, simmer until translucent.  Drain if necessary.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer, covered,  until tender, about 1-1/2 hours, longer if you can, it just gets better. 

Extra notes:
I'm from Texas, but in the picture you probably noticed beans.  On this occasion (I wanted a lot left over) so I added a can of pinto beans.  The beans also tame the heat a little if you are serving to children.

If you feel like your chili is too "loose", you can thicken it with 1 tsp of Masa mixed with a little water.  Works like cornstarch as a thickener.

Jess and I like ours served over Fritos, topped with cheese and onions.  He also tops his with ketchup.  The ketchup makes me cringe.  Each to his own I guess.

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