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This is the chili that my kids and their friends claim could win the local chili cook-off.  I’m not so sure about that, but I haven’t found another that I prefer over my own - yet. But I don’t think using a store bought seasoning packet qualifies me for an original chili recipe. LOL

The key is the Carroll Shelby’s Chili Kit. It used to be sold in a little brown paper bag. A couple years ago, they changed it to a box. I don’t even use everything in the kit. I use only the seasoning packet and leave out the added salt, cayenne and mesa. I prefer my chili a little “soupy”. I am determined to experiment with seasonings until I can come up with an almost perfect match. :-)

I’m no Pioneer Woman, but here is my version of the recipe and directions...


1/1/2 - 2 pounds ground meat - I use ground beef but you can choose whatever you prefer

1 can Rotelle original tomatoes

1 can petite diced tomatoes

1 can crushed tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

2 cans light red kidney beans

Chicken base and water (optional)


Brown the ground beef and onion, drain.

Add Rotelle tomatoes, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and kidney beans. Stir well.

If you want your chili a little more soupy, add 1-2 cups chicken base dissolved in water (to make broth) until it reaches the consistency you want.

Add the seasoning packet ONLY, stir well.

This is the thing - I never, ever use any of the rest of the kit. The chicken base makes it salty enough, I don’t like it too spicy, and the Rotelle tomatoes makes it spicy enough. I only add the masa if the chili is being used for chili dogs or serving others who prefer a thicker consistency.

Let simmer on low for a few hours, stirring from the bottom often so it doesn’t stick.  It can simmer for an entire day, or you can refrigerate it and heat it up the next day. It takes several hours of simmering to cook the beans as soft as we like them.

Chili isn’t chili without corn bread, or so says PaPa :-) I say cheddar biscuits might be just as good ;-)  You can also serve with corn chips, oyster crackers (I don’t know why they call them oyster crackers - there’s no oysters in them - just sayin’), sour cream, green onions, cheddar cheese. Eat it your way. LOL

Also - here is a recipe for the seasoning mix if you want to make your own rather than searching for and buying the Carroll Shelby kit.

Freezes well.


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