It’s Getting Chili: Classic Chili Recipe

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When the weather turns cool and the leaves begin to fall from the trees, you know it's the perfect time to whip out your stock pot or slow cooker and make a batch of chili. As your family and friends gather around for a tailgate party or to watch a football game, you can ensure that their bellies will be full when you serve them this traditional hearty dish.

The great thing about this recipe is that you can serve it the day you make it or freeze it for use at a later time. Whether you want to eat a steaming hot bowl of chili, top hotdogs with it or slather it on top of spaghetti noodles, chili is a versatile dish.

Here is a traditional recipe you can make anytime:

1 pound of ground beef (or ground turkey, for a healthier alternative)
2 - 15 oz. cans of kidney beans
2 - 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes
2 - 15 oz cans tomato sauce
1 medium onion, diced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. chili powder
sugar (optional: 1/4 - 1/3 cup for a sweeter mixture)

While your ground beef is frying in the skillet over medium heat, peel, slice and dice your onion into 1/4 inch pieces. Once your ground beef is almost cooked, throw the onions into the pan and continue cooking until the onion is translucent. Once done, drain the grease from the mixture and place it in your stock pot or slow cooker.

Drain and add the kidney beans to your meat and onion mixture. Add the tomato sauce and the diced tomatoes to the pot, as well. Choose your level of heat. You can turn the fire up to medium-high when you're in a hurry, or use medium-low when you plan to let your concoction simmer for several hours.

Now it's time for seasoning. Start with one teaspoon each of the chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Taste your dish frequently and adjust the amounts to suit your taste if necessary. If you prefer your dish to have a sweet quality, add 1/4 to 1/3 of a cup of sugar to the mixture. Add seasonings slowly and taste as you proceed. Once you have the amounts just right, record them for future use!

As the days grow shorter and darker, you can rest assured that everyone who tastes this dish will request it again and again, and by planning ahead, you can always have it on hand to fulfill those requests.

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