You know Eric and I love cooking together, so it should come as no surprise to you to find out that he also enjoys cooking on his own. Unlike the husbands of many of my friends, Eric doesn’t get excited to eat fast food when I’m not home. He almost always cooks something, and may even bake something if he has time. When I went to BlogHer Food last year, he made hamburger buns and barbecue. He’s certainly not going to bake a cake on his own, but he will totally whip up a batch of homemade rolls or a loaf bread. I love that about him.
I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately – first to Alabama to visit family and then to Connecticut to visit friends – and Eric made this chili while I was gone. While we were FaceTiming, he showed me the Dutch oven with this in it and I immediately requested that he save a bowl for me. Had I been home, I would have suggested making some type of southwest chicken chili, mostly because standard chili recipes never really appealed to me. Eric made a great decision choosing this recipe, though, because it clearly won me over. In true Eric fashion, he substituted beer for the water called for in the original recipe. Like any chili recipe, you can adapt this one to suit your personal tastes. Use the high range of jalapeño peppers to make it spicier. Try different types of beer to see which you like best (though make sure it’s something you’d be willing to drink). Mash more or less of the beans to change the thickness of the chili. Whatever you do, don’t leave out the chocolate! It gives this chili a depth of flavor that cannot be achieved without it. When you’re craving a delicious, no frills chili, this recipe can’t be beat.