The Slow-Cooker Chronicles – Chili

Eating In

If I had to pick a kitchen tool that best represents “FoodForThot” it would be the slow cooker.

What could possibly be more basic (thotty yet brilliant) about pawning all the credit for hours of slooooow deliberate work off of an appliance? “Slow and steady” wins the race, but it also creates some of the most rich and complex flavors in cooking. “WhyNot” live your life while your slow cooker puts in the grind? I’m probably preaching to the choir so let’s get to the good stuff.

Chili has become my go-to comfort food for cold weather potlucks and tailgates, but it is just as easy and customizable for a cozy weeknight dinner (with leftovers — WIN).

Here’s the basic recipe (Gimme Some Oven) I’ve been using as the touchstone for my variations.

And here are some adjustments I have made:

  • I usually forget to buy/add cumin and instead just go heavy-handed on the chili powder.
  • My family loves black beans so I usually add a can. Between 4 cans of beans, 2lb of meat, and a healthy dose of tomato, my crock pot is usually pretty full. If you want to add other foods (corn, sneak some kale, etc), it’s probably worth sacrificing some beans.
  • We like our chili to make our eyes water, and in an effort to not waste food I usually chop the whole can of chilis in adobo sauce. It is H-O-T, but not so much that you can’t taste anything. More of a smoky heat, but keep cheese and sour cream on standby.

Here’s how we enjoyed it on Superbowl Sunday!