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.
- 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
- 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.
- Stir and break the ground beef into crumbles and cook until no longer pink (about 5 more minutes).
- Stir in celery, onion, and bell pepper into the ground beef and cook until onion is translucent (15-20 minutes).
- While the vegetables cook down, pour the stewed tomatoes into a large bowl. Break apart the large chunks of tomatoes.
- Once the vegetables are softened, add the stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, water, chili seasoning packets, and beans.
- Add dash of salt and black pepper. Mix all ingredients well.
- 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.)
- Mix white vinegar into the chili.
Source: Adapted from All Recipes