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Chili's Original Chili copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Chili's Original Chili


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The menu at Chili’s has inspired many clone recipes here over the years including FajitasBaby Back RibsSalsaChili QuesoSouthwestern EggrollsChicken CrispersBoneless Wings and more, but it wasn’t until recently that I got the chance to work on a hack for the chain’s award-winning original chili. About time.

The chili served at Chili’s is a Texas-style con carne recipe, which traditionally means no beans and no tomato. You won’t find any beans in this recipe or chunks of tomato, but their chili does have a tomato base to boost flavor, so I’m adding that into the mix by including one 6-ounce can of tomato paste. As it turns out, that small can is just the right amount.

The preparation technique is simple: brown the beef, drain off the fat, then add some of the fat back to the empty pan to sauté the onions and peppers in. When those are done, you add the beef back to the pan along with the remaining ingredients and simmer for 1½ hours. That will be just long enough to braise the beef and tenderize it, and to thicken the chili to a perfect consistency.

When the chili’s done, top it with a Cheddar/pepper jack blend, and some crispy tortilla bits. Then pass out the spoons.

Check here more of my Chili's copycat recipes.

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  • 2 pounds 80/20 ground beef (20% fat)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced white onion
  • ...

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