Spicy Cajun Chili
Chili is one of my go-to recipes when the Autumn leaves start turning colors and the weather starts getting cooler – especially on a crisp weekend night cuddled under some fuzzy blankets with me and my kitty cat watching some movies. Or with a group of friends watching everyone go crazy on college football game day. There’s nothing better than that. And, it’s an easy thing to make and dishes out a big dose of comfort. The best part is once I make a big pot, I can eat it for a few days and then throw the rest in the freezer for later (unless all my crazy friends dig in and there’s nothing left to show for it which actually makes me the happiest!)
I decided I wanted to make a spicier version of the chili I normally make and added a kick to it with some Cajun/Creole seasoning Tony Chacere’s (or you can try Emeril’s Southwest Essence) which adds an extra layer of spicy, savory flavor with green and red bell pepper and celery flavors. I added some red pepper flakes, diced green chilies and a few tablespoons of hot sauce to the mix and used half ground chicken (you can also use ground turkey) / half ground beef and threw in some garlic, onions and black beans to make it a little healthier too. If you want to make it even more authentically Cajun, you could throw in some Andouille sausage or corn or green and red peppers for even more flavor and texture.
It’s perfect on its own, but you can cool the heat a little bit with some sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese on top. If you want it even spicier, just throw in a little extra hot sauce – I love Evil Ooze by Hotline Pepper Products (my friend Kerry Stressel makes it in Texas) and classic Tabasco hot sauce, or you can do a little milder sauce like Frank’s RedHot or Cholula) and top with extra diced chilies or sliced jalapenos. I usually serve my chili with plain crackers or corn chips, but you could also make some yummy cheesy garlic bread to serve with it instead. Cozy up and enjoy!
Spicy Cajun Chili with a Kick
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 pounds ground chicken or turkey
- 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Cajun or Creole seasoning (Tony Chacere's)
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 tablespoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 -28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 -15 ounce can tomato sauce or 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons hot pepper sauce
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can diced green chilies, drained (or 1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and diced)
- 1 cup of corn kernels (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream, for garnish
- Extra hot sauce, diced chilies or jalapeno (if desired)
- Crackers, garlic toast or corn chips, for serving (if desired)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute the chopped onion until soft and translucent, for about 5-6 minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the ground chicken or turkey and beef to the pot and mix with the garlic and onion, stirring with a wooden spoon to brown the meat. Continue to cook until all the meat is brown and no longer pink, for about 8-10 minutes. Drain the fat off the meat into a colander and place meat and onion-garlic mixture back into the pan.
- Add the Cajun-Creole seasoning and all the dry chili spices and red pepper flakes, stir and cook for another minute or so.
- Pour in the stock, water, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce (or chopped fresh tomatoes) and hot sauce; turn up the heat until chili starts to bubble, and lower heat to a simmer.
- Stir in black beans and and diced green chilies, cover and simmer for at least 45 minutes, up to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Note: You can play with the thickness of the chili by adding additional water or stock as it simmers, but be sure to taste and adjust the seasonings to your liking if you do this.)
- Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnish. Top with some extra diced chilies or jalapenos for extra zing if desired.
You can play with the desired thickness of the chili by adding additional water or stock but be sure to taste and season it to your liking if you do this.)
You can also add some fresh or canned corn to the chili while cooking.
Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream for garnish. You can also top with some extra diced chilies or jalapenos for extra zing if desired.
Fresh cilantro or lime adds great flavors as garnish for a little bit more green.
Enjoy with a big hearty glass of red wine or a beer and some crackers, corn chips or cheesy garlic bread.
Other Chili Recipes you may enjoy:
Southern Style Taco Soup
Emeril Lagasse Kickin Chili
Cooking Light Turkey and Bean Chili
White on Rice Couple Spicy Bacon Cowboy Chili
How Sweet Eats Chunky Fire Roasted Chili
The Pioneer Woman Simple Chili
Devon’s Award Winning Chili (Barefoot Contessa)