It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Black Or White

Okay, yes I lifted the title from the Michael Jackson song that played incessantly during my Sophomore year in college while I diligently filled the salt and pepper shakers in the dining hall, but it’s all I could think of when I was asked via Facebook if I had any good chili recipes without beans and decided to share two chili recipes: one black and one white.  Well, actually, the black isn’t really black – that would be more like burnt chili, (gross) – but the song kept running through my head anyway.

And yes, I’m aware that there are probably more chili recipes than acres in Texas, but these are the two that I like making.  Either recipe is good year-round, but with the weather turning cold, we are heading into traditional chili/football season.  (I don’t know why but I always think of chili when I think of football….)

Anyway, I’ve taken both recipes camping, served them for dinner and hauled them to countless potlucks.  And so I share with you……chili two ways.  (Or “It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Black Or White”)

White Chili

Chili with Chicken?

I discovered this recipe a few years ago in my Arizona Highways “Outdoor Cooking” cookbook and it quickly became one of Madison’s favorites.  In fact, she insisted that I make this chili for her birthday dinner one year.  It’s also made appearances at several potlucks and BBQs – and all I’ve ever had to take home was the pot I brought it in.  I like serving it with homemade cornbread.

1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small white onion, chopped
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 ½ tsp cumin
2 large chicken breasts – skinned and cooked, (I cook mine in a light coat of salt and pepper in a small pan covered with water over medium-high heat.  The chicken stays moist this way and is easier to chop.)
1 15oz can garbanzo beans, drained
1 15oz can white beans, drained
1 8oz can white corn, drained
1 8oz can yellow corn, drained
2 4oz cans chopped green chilis
2 chicken bullion cubes
1 ½ cups hot water
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the onion, garlic and cumin in hot oil.  Shred or chop the chicken breasts and when the onion and garlic are tender, add the chicken, beans, corn, chilis, bullion cubes and water.  Stir to combine, making sure bullion cubes are dissolved.  Cover and cook for about 30 minutes on medium-low heat – just until the flavors blend.  Just before serving, sprinkle cheese on top.

Chili Con Carne

Football Chili

This is a modified version of the recipe I found in, “The Fannie Farmer Cookbook” and it’s pretty much become our “First Night Camping” meal because I can make it ahead of time and just dump it in the pot to warm while we’re setting up camp.  Beans are optional and I like to serve it with shredded sharp cheddar cheese.  Ground beef can be used, but I prefer the chunks of beef.  I think everyone else does too.

4 tbsp shortening
2 medium or 1 large white onion, chopped
6 cloves of minced garlic
3 lbs beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp salt
4-6 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp dried oregano
Cayenne pepper to taste
2 beef bullion cubes
4 cups hot water
1 can chili or kidney beans, optional

Heat the shortening in a large pot.  Stir in the onions and garlic and cook until soft.  Add the beef and salt and cook until the meat loses its pink color.  Add the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and cayenne and continue to cook about 5 minutes.  Add the bullion cubes, and hot water and stir to combine, making sure the bullion cubes are dissolved.  Add the beans and simmer – partially covered – for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Serve in large bowls with shredded cheese, sour crème and chopped green onions.


Bacon grease and a well blended egg make all the difference.

Okay, as an added bonus I decided to share my cornbread recipe too, because really – what is chili without cornbread? (or corn muffins)  Use bacon grease if you can (I drain mine into a large jar that we keep in the fridge,) it makes all the difference.  This recipe can also be doubled to make large, fluffy squares of bread, add 15-20 minutes to the baking time.

¾ cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
3 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg, well beaten
3 tbsp melted bacon fat

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease an 8-inch square cake pan with 1 tbsp bacon grease.  Mix the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Add the milk, egg, and bacon fat and blend well.  Spoon the batter into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes.  Cool and cut into squares.

One comment on “It Doesn’t Matter If You’re Black Or White

  1. Susan Weisberger
    October 4, 2011 at 11:25 am #

    I love both of these recipes and have had the privilege of eating them when we have gone camping or pot

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