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Playing Rach's Cocoa-Cinnamon Chili Is Full-Flavored, But Not Too Spicy!

"We're having chili night, people!" says Rach. Her hearty, full-flavored (but not too spicy!) version includes red and black beans and can be made with ground beef, pork or turkey, or even a plant-based meat substitute. She likes to prepare her own chili pepper mix, but you can definitely use a jarred chili powder blend. Cinnamon and cocoa add richness and depth. Top the finished chili with the garnishes of your choosing and enjoy over the holidays or on game day with family or friends. 

For more chili inspiration from Rach, check out her Meat-Lover's Pizza Chili and Everything Chili with Tortilla Tops

Ingredients

For the Four Dried Chilies:
  • 4 arbol chilies, seeded
  • 3 guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 ancho chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 chipotle chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 2 cups beef bone stock or vegetable stock
  • OR
  • ¼ cup good-quality ground chili powder blend
  • 2 cups beef bone stock or vegetable stock
For the Chili:
  • 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Fresno chili, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 pounds ground meat (beef, pork or turkey) or plant-based meat
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground smoked cinnamon or cinnamon
  • Two 14-ounce cans beans (red and black)
  • One 28-ounce can crushed or diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup (or smoked maple syrup)
  • Hot sauce, to pass at table
  • Optional add-ins: diced roasted orange squash or apples
Optional Toppings:
  • Smoked cheddar or pepper Jack
  • Pickled jalapeno peppers (mild or hot)
  • Thinly sliced scallions
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds

Yield

Serves: 4

Preparation

For the four dried chilies, toast chilies until crisp and fragrant, add stock and reconstitute 10 minutes at simmer, then puree. If using the chili powder blend, lightly toast it, then combine with stock.   

For the chili, heat oil in chili pot or Dutch oven over medium to medium-high heat.

5-Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

5-Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven

Rachael Ray
$100

Add onions and fresh peppers, season with salt and pepper and soften a couple minutes. Add garlic, then add meat and brown and crumble. Add cocoa, cumin and cinnamon and stir a minute. Add beans, tomatoes, toasted chili puree or chili powder broth and honey or maple syrup.   

Simmer 20 minutes and adjust the seasonings to your liking.     

Top with choice of garnishes and serve with hot sauce to pass.