Introducing: What’s Cooking with CALYgirl?

Join me in the kitchen on Sundays where I share some of my favorite recipes of the season.

This week is all about my favorite chili recipes and the perfect wine pairings. Jim LOVES chili and the older kids have been enjoying it too. As long as I make corn bread to go with it! 



Here are two of my favorite chili recipes, traditional beef chili and white bean chili. Both are easy to make, packed with protein and delicious!


Ingredients :

• 2 T olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, minced
• 2 lbs ground chicken
• 1 tsp salt, plus more for seasoning
• 2 T ground cumin1 T Fennel seed
• 1 T dried oregano

• 2 tsp chili powder
• 3 T flour
• 2-15 oz cans cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves chopped into • 1” pieces1 ½ cups frozen corn, thawed ( I omit this)

• 4 cups chicken stock
• ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
• Freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
• ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
• ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions :

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook util translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the ground chicken, 1 tsp sale, cumin, fennel seeds, oregano, and chili powder. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Stir the flour into the chicken mixture. Add the beans, Swiss chard, corn (if using) and chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a simmer, scraping up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 55-60 minutes util the liquid has reduced by about half and the chili has thickened. Add the red pepper flakes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the chili into serving bowls. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.


I double the cumin, fennel seed, oregano and chili powder

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentis.


The White Bean and Chicken Chili pairs well with Riesling or Pinot Gris. I’d recommend this delicious and affordable upstate NY dry Riesling from Forge Cellars. Their top Cuvée Les Allies hits all the high notes!


Ingredients :

• 3 T olive oil
• 2 LBS ground beef
• Salt & pepper
• 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
• 1 small green bell pepper, seeded & diced (1/2 cup)
• 2 lg garlic cloves, minced

• ¼ cup chili powder, plus more to taste
• 2 tsp oregano
• 1 ½ tsp cumin
• 3-15 ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
• 1-28 ounce can diced tomatoes
• 1-15 ounce can tomato sauce

Directions :

Heat 2 T olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown the beef, breaking it up with a fork, until cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. Season with ½ tsp each salt & pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer beef to paper lined plate. Wipe excess oil from pot and heat remaining tablespoon of oil in the pot. Add the onion and garlic and saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, oregano and cumin and cook for 1 minute. Return the beef to the pot. Stir in the beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 ½ cups water and 2 tsp salt. Simmer 30-45 minutes, taste and add more chili powder if desired.


The Red Bean and Beef Chili pairs best with texture like medium bodied reds from Rhône or Sonoma. Try Freeman Winery’s Akiko’s Cuvée Pinot Noir to enjoy some of Akiko’s best from the cooler Sonoma area climates.


Don’t forget the side of cornbread with your chili! I’ve tried so many recipes, both from scratch and from a box. This Honey Cornbread from Krusteaz has always been a favorite.

Do you have a favorite recipe for Chili or Cornbread? I’d love to try out something new! Click HERE to send me an email. I love hearing from you.

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