And now it's January. So chili.
Our chili is never made the exact same way every time, but this is the general path I typically follow.
If you're a grand-champion chili cook-off purist, feel free to look away in horror. The number of canned goods here is positively heretical, I know, but they're so easy to keep on hand. My chili is also nearly vegetarian, with a butternut squash standing in admirably for the typical beef. (And if you want to make it completely vegetarian, just sub vegetable broth for the chicken stock―easy, peasy!) Lastly, I use a pre-packaged spice mix―I've tried creating my own over the years, but it turns out that “William's” does it pretty well.
Yeah...this recipe gets very few points in the "handcrafted, from-scratch" department. But it's easy and it's so good. And when you're trying to warm up after a day of battling the general January-ness of the world, easy and good are pretty important.
Butternut Squash Chili
- ½ medium-sized butternut squash (about 3 ½ cups), cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 10-ounce cans “Ro-Tel” original tomatoes and chilies (undrained)
- 2 cups canned tomatoes (undrained)
- ¾ cup chopped bell peppers
- 15-ounce can kidney beans
- 15-ounce can black beans
- 15-ounce can chickpeas
- 1 packet William's chili seasoning
- 4 cups chicken stock
- Your favorite chili toppings (we like, cheese, tortilla chips, avocado, and Greek yogurt)
Put all of the ingredients except the chicken stock into a large dutch oven or crockpot. Give everything a good stir to evenly distribute the spices, then add the stock. Again, give everything a good stir.
If you're using a crockpot, set it to high. For the dutch oven, put it over medium-low heat on the stove. In both cases, let the chili gently simmer for about an hour and a half, or until it starts to thicken just a little and make your house smell amazing.
Ladle out big bowlfuls, and serve with your favorite chili toppings.