Editor's Note: February 27 is National Chili Day. America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full-time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most-foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook’s Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.
A great beef chili should be a mainstay of every home. In its essence, chili is a form of beef stew and employs a long, slow, moist-heat cooking process to tenderize tough meat. For the best meat, you need to choose cuts from the shoulder; blade steaks or a chuck-eye roast provide plenty of flavor and a silky texture.
This recipe uses a twist on the ready-made chili powder, which can give chili a gritty feel, as well as a rather dull flavor. Instead, we toast dried chiles and then process them with flavorful ingredients and chicken broth to make a deeply flavored, smooth textured paste.
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
Some like it hot - October is National Chili Month!
This hearty, slow-cooked stew will warm you from the inside out. While the inclusion of certain ingredients like beans and tomatoes will cause a hot debate among people from different regions of the country, almost everyone can agree: Chili just isn't chili unless it has chili peppers.
One of the world’s first cultivated crops, the chili pepper's origin can be traced back to South America. According to food magazine The Nibble, Christopher Columbus was the first European to "discover" chilies. He called them pimientos, the Spanish word for pepper, because the spiciness reminded him of peppercorns. The two plants, however, are not related.
Chilies are high in vitamin C. Some of them are also high in the chemical capsaicin, which gives them their heat. Capsaicin is both the active ingredient in pepper spray, as well as topical arthritis treatments.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
In the Hall of Fame of holiday foods - gingerbread men, roast prime rib, potato latkes - chili is what you’d call a holiday underdog. Unless you’re a major player in the competitive chili circuit, it’s probably not a big part of your Christmas tree decorating or stocking stuffing. (And even if you are a chili champion, hopefully you know where to draw the line.)
Still with all the monumental things people are doing with chili these days, I just might shake up my holiday menu. Maybe my family will decorate bowls of chili instead of cookies? Just thinking.
Welcome to round four of Spouse vs. Spouse, a series in which a couple of married food freaks, CNN’s Brandon and Kristy Griggs, square off in their Atlanta kitchen for culinary bragging rights – and invite you to weigh in too.
In each installment, Kristy and Brandon will each cook a creative variation on the same ingredient or dish – everything from pasta to seafood to cocktails to desserts. We’ll serve both versions anonymously to our friends, who will then judge which one they like better and why. We’ll walk you through our kitchen process, bring the husband-and-wife smack talk and, of course, keep score. We’ll also share our recipes here so that you can try them for yourself.