Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just like Wendy's Chili


I love chili, and one of my favorite chilis (ever) is the chili from Wendy's. It's so tasty- even in the summer. There are a ton of "just like Wendy's chili" recipes on the web, and I've tried several times to re-create it to no avail. Pretty disappointing to buy all the ingredients to have it taste nothing like the original.

Darin and I had spent a relaxing and fun weekend downtown see The Tenderloins on tour, and we decided to take advantage of getting a hotel downtown by going out to brunch near the vicinity. We chose Annabel's (terrific brunch place!), and while we waited (for an hour), Darin and I were looking for Wendy's chili wannabe recipes. He chose this one, and what do you know? We both said this is as close to Wendy's chili as we'll ever have! A total winner, and quite possibly our favorite chili to date.

Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs ground beef (I used 73% lean ground beef)
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • (3) 15-oz cans stewed tomatoes
  • 10-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • (2) 8-oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • (2) 1.25-oz packages of chili seasoning packets (I used 1 mild and 1 hot)
  • 14-oz can of kidney beans, undrained
  • 14-oz can of pinto beans, undrained (I used spicy chili beans)
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar

Directions
  1. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Press ground beef into the hot oil to form 1 large patty; let the bottom brown for 8-10 minutes. 
  2. Stir and break the ground beef into crumbles and cook until no longer pink (about 5 more minutes).
  3. Stir in celery, onion, and bell pepper into the ground beef and cook until onion is translucent (15-20 minutes). 
  4. While the vegetables cook down, pour the stewed tomatoes into a large bowl. Break apart the large chunks of tomatoes. 
  5. Once the vegetables are softened, add the stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, chili seasoning packets, and beans. 
  6. Add dash of salt and black pepper. Mix all ingredients well.
  7. Bring the chili to a boil, then reduce to low and allow it to simmer for 1 hour. (We allowed it to simmer on low "2.5" setting for 2 hours.)
  8. Mix white vinegar into the chili.

Source: Adapted from All Recipes

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