A basic meat + beans chili recipe, without all the frills, to take you back to why this classic is a favorite in the first place!
Culture + geographical location are both big parts of what influences our taste preferences + eating habits. When it comes to chili, each region has their own take on it. Beans or no beans? What type of meat? Thick or thin? How spicy?
According to this article by Serious Eats, I also learned that Illinois is the [self-proclaimed] chili capital of the world. I lived there for over 20 years and did not realize that — oops. Also, IL apparently also struggles with the spelling of chili. Opting for the double “L” in chilli. Maybe this explains why I keep naturally adding an extra L while writing this post + having it autocorrect my spelling every time…
I will tell you, this is more of a standard Illinois recipe rather than Cincinnati-style. I guess my IL roots are showing because the Cincinnati-style just doesn’t cut it for me. I need thick, chunky stew-like chili, not a meat sauce. [Sorry not sorry, Ohioans!]
Couple quick notes about this recipe:
- You can choose any type of meat you want: ground turkey, chicken, beef, etc.
- This was just enough spice for my husband + I, however, we are definitely more on the mild end of spice tolerance. Add additional jalapeño if you want more of a kick.
- The purpose of the cornstarch is to create a thicker consistency rather than beans + meat floating in broth. You can skip this step if you wish, but I don’t recommend it!
- This recipe is on the larger side because I love having leftover chili! This also freezes well.
- This pairs lovely topped with cheese, sour cream / greek yogurt, oyster crackers or with a side of fresh cornbread!