Monday, April 19, 2010

Spicy Italian Sausage Chili

I was heading up a big fundraising event for our youth group.
The Church-wide Chili CookOff and Softball Night. 
Everyone was encouraged to bring their best pot of chili. 
And winner would go home with a $10 Applebee's gift card! 
Though I had been planning and plotting this event for months, one thing never occurred to me.
I should make chili. 
(Brilliant, right?!)
Participating in the chili cook-off hadn't, for whatever reason, entered my mind. 
Until the night before the event. 
So I figured I could throw something together as I always do.

This chili has a flavor all its own. 
It stands apart from the many other chilis I have created in the recent months of chilled temperatures. 
I started with the slices of sausage--my husband's fabulous idea. 
And from there the idea of an Italian themed chili was born. 
This turned out amazingly well. 
And while I didn't win, I did receive numerous compliments. 
Mostly from the teens! 
I'll take that! 

and you should make this!

canola oil, drizzle
3 sausage links (of your choice), sliced or ground 
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 whole onion, finely diced
1/2-1 whole carrot, grated (more=added sweetness)
2 small green peppers, diced
1/2-1 whole jalapeno, fined diced 
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp basil
1/4-1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 Tbsp (or more) chili powder
1-15 oz can diced Italian style tomatoes
2-15 oz cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed 
1 cup (8oz) beef bouillon broth
1-28oz can crushed Italian tomatoes
1-8oz can tomato sauce
1-8 oz can tomato paste 
1-2 cups water (depending on desired consistency) 

Heat large stock pot drizzled with canola oil to medium-medium high heat. Add sausage, onions and garlic and don't stir. This will allow the sausage to develop its color and release its flavor to the bottom of the pan. Stir and add in shredded carrot, green peppers and jalapenos. Cook until all the veggies are softened and fragrant. Add in salt, pepper, parsley, oregano, chili flakes, and chili powder. Stir to combine. 

Stir in beans and diced tomatoes. Stir in beef broth, using a wooden spoon to scrape (deglaze) the bottom of the pan--scraping up all of the delicious flavors of the sausage. Stir in remaining ingredients (adding water only to desired consistency). Let simmer 1 hour or more.

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