In a bygone era when I was far too young to know what Playboy Magazine was, someone in the family scored this chili recipe. Mom hand wrote the original recipe (the scan is below) so the magazine owner must have dictated it to her. I nominate my Dad or my older brother Tim.
So after returning home after a long September Saturday of shopping for new Halloween graveyard additions, Joe and I decided that despite it being 90 degrees there was no better way to kick-off fall in Texas than with a bowl of chili. So into Mom’s cookbook my fingers strolled until they landed on this ol’ recipe. There’s no telling when this chili was last made but I can tell from the yellowed, stained paper that this recipe was used more than a few times.
While this Playboy Chili recipe isn’t my tried, true and award-winning Kiker’s Kicker Pot Licker Chili, it packed a lotta punch.
❤ Some people just see a chili recipe. I see a recipe that’s a glorious gateway to the belly! You can put chili on more than just a spoon – try it on nachos, chili baked potatoes or what’s better than chili and eggs? Not much! I can picture my Dad enjoying chili and eggs right this very minute with eyes as wide as dinner plates and a smile bigger than Texas.
If you decide to make chili baked potatoes (I wildly recommend), don’t just microwave the potato – that’s far too easy. Take a delicious tip from this blue cheese bacon potato recipe – slather the potatoes with shortening, wrap ’em in foil, and bake ’em in the oven for about an hour. The end result? The softest, most delicious baked potato you’re likely to encounter! After all a baked potato is just that – otherwise we should call them nuked potatoes!
❤ Important Lesson: Not since I learned why bagged grated cheese is inferior to freshly grated cheese (goodbye, wood pulp) have I realized that when making chili, plain ol’ ground beef is inferior to coarse ground beef. Why? I find that the typical ground beef often breaks down into more of a grainy mush than a hearty, bold consistency which is a chunky must when beef is the featured ingredient like when in a bowl of chili. Sadly my local grocery stores were out of coarse ground chili beef, so I resorted to the mundane. Note: You can ask your butcher to prepare it fresh for you.
❤ The typical sidekicks for the Kiker family bowl of chili include shredded cheddar cheese, Nabisco saltine crackers, corn bread, Fritos, sour cream and chopped green onions (to name a few).
Total prep: About 90 minutes.
2 pounds | coarse ground chili beef
½ cup (or less) | olive oil
1 cup | white onion, minced (Mom would likely chop or dice)
1 tablespoon | fresh garlic, minced (I used 5 cloves)
1 large | green bell pepper, minced (or chopped/diced)
1 large | bay leaf (I used 2)
1 teaspoon | oregano
3 tablespoons | chili powder
1 teaspoon | cumin
¼ teaspoon | cayenne
½ teaspoon | fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon (or to taste) | kosher salt
1 tablespoon | paprika
½ teaspoon | red pepper flakes (aka crushed red pepper)
3 tablespoons | flour
1 ½ quart | beef stock
2 teaspoons | sugar
¼ cup (about 10) | cracker crumbs
1 cup | pinto beans, drained
to serve | your favorite sidekicks (see suggested ideas above)
iii. What To Do
1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the meat in the olive oil.
2. Add the onions, garlic, green pepper, bay leaves, oregano, chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, pepper, kosher salt, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Whew!
3. Stir things well and sauté, covered, about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in the flour; blend well. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
Note: I noticed at this stage the chili was a little too oily for my liking which is why I think you can totally dial back on the olive oil (noted above).
5. Stir in the sugar, cracker crumbs and the drained beans. Simmer 10 minutes longer.
6. Serve with your favorite sides/toppings.
Leftovers store well in the fridge or they may be frozen for impromptu meals when that cold front blows in and you’re in a flurry for some chili.
Founder and “Nostalgic Food Blogger” of Betty’s Cook Nook
Ever since watching the 1989 hit When Harry Met Sally I can’t see the word “paprika” without thinking of the funny paprikash scene. “Paprikash” is a popular Hungarian paprika chicken dish. Enjoy the clip!
Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup
This “BIG SOUP” recipe is insanely flexible! It starts with a base of chicken broth and our familiar friends onion, celery, carrot and herbs. But then the party gets a little crazy – you add whatever fresh, canned or frozen veggies, pasta and or meats that you have loitering around the kitchen, making this soup “soup-er” flexible.
Some of the best cooks never follow a recipe to the “t” and this is surely one of their favorites!
Foodie Tips ~
♥ Note the variations on the original scan –
For more soup: Add additional vegetables and broth.
For two meals: Freeze the leftovers.
For creamed soup: Add ½ to 1 cup cream 5 minutes before serving. Do not boil the cream!
For pureed soup: Put all ingredients (no bones) into a blender and work your magic, until smooth.
♥ If you discover a version you really like, make record of the ratios so you can make it again on the next go.
♥ I was 10 when this recipe appeared in the 1976 edition of Apartment Life Magazine. How alarming it is to see the office phone hanging on the wall in the photo below! PS ~ I also love the bananas T-shirt!
i. base ingredients
2 cans | chicken broth
4 | chicken breasts
1 | large onion, chopped
1 | celery stalk, chopped
1 | carrot, chopped
2 sprigs | parsley
1 teaspoon | thyme (or dill weed)
1 | bay leaf
to “cover” | water
ii. “scavenge” for these accessory ingredients
1 small can | pinto beans, chickpeas and or plum tomatoes
1 medium can | corn
½ package | frozen okra, asparagus, artichokes and or pea pods
2 | potatoes, chopped
1 small | zucchini, chopped
1 | green pepper, chopped
¼ pound | mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup or more | pasta or rice
1 length | seasoned sausage
cubes | leftover meat
1 | kitchen sink (just checking if you’re paying attention!) :)
iii. what to do
1. In a medium/large pot over medium heat, add the first eight ingredients in step “i” above. Add water to cover.
2. While waiting for the soup to simmer, scavenge for your step “ii” ingredients above, whatever form they take.
3. Add fresh veggies and rice after the soup’s been simmering 15 minutes or canned, frozen ingredients and pasta after 20 minutes. Simmer soup for 30 minutes or until everything’s done.
Click To View –> An Original Scan Of The Big Soup Recipe