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Kitchen Bitchin’

Rainy nights and comfort food

Spring is here, y’all, but the weather is all kinds of wonky – cold and rainy one day and hot and humid the next.  It’s as if the weather in the region is abjectly PMSing.


The Kitchen Bitch rejects Mother Nature’s sabotage scheme, clearly recognizing the ruse to ruin her engagement pictures (taken this past weekend in the French Quarter).

But on days like today, good ol’ comfort food is best. It’s gray and drizzling outside, and I know that tonight I just want to cuddle with NFL Guy on the couch with a giant bowl of chili and a much needed viewing of “Coming to America.”

Vhere’s the spoon, indeed.

Here’s my absolute favorite chili recipe – it combines chocolate AND cumin, two of my favorite things in the world. (I’m confident the Angry Black Lady would also add a dollop of scotch, just to keep that floozy chili honest.) 

Chili with Chocolate and Chipotle

(Adapted from Cooking Light)

Yields 8 servings


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups diced onion (about 1 large)
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast (another great option is a lean flank steak, seared and sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder (available at most supermarkets)
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa (I use dark cocoa powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained (light red kidney beans also work well, but beans are a matter of taste)
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 chipotle chiles, canned in adobo sauce, minced
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (bitter chocolate works well also)


Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic, and turkey to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until turkey is browned and vegetables are tender. Add sugar and next 9 ingredients (through chipotle) to pan, stirring to blend; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 15 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Add chocolate, stirring to melt. Ladle 1 1/4 cups chili in each of 8 bowls.

It’s all in the details.

I like to serve this chili with diced green onions, a dollop of non-fat plain yogurt (or light sour cream) and a little sharp cheddar or Monterey jack. Corn bread is a must to sop up all of the awesome. If you’re looking to imbibe, I’d go with a nice tempranillo or a malbec—both will hold up well against the depth of the dish and would enhance the smokiness of the chipotles. These wines can handle the spices of the dish without overwhelming it.

If you prefer beer, try a Vienna lager, which is perfectly versatile. Your easiest bets are Negro Modelo or Dos Equis Amber.

Crack open the windows and sit and listen to the rain (or Whiskeytown’s phenomenal swansong, “Pneumonia”) and comfort your stomach and soul tonight.

That’s what the Bitch’ll be doing.

And that’s not a half bad way to spend an evening, y’all.


March 31, 2009 - Posted by | Kitchen Bitchin' | , , , , ,


  1. I am married to red bell pepper. I grant you permission to enjoy red bell pepper, but know that I have my eye on you.

    What’s that, red bell pepper? Oh, you are making a funny joke. Ha ha, ohh you’re so funny red bell pepper. We’ll be happy forever, won’t we, red bell pepper.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  2. This chili sounds really good.

    But…I’m not used to chili you don’t let sit and do its chili thing all day…you can eat it not long after making it?

    Does it still taste better the second day?

    Comment by TheHobo | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  3. Set another place and leave the door unlocked. I’ll be there in ooooh, about 10 hours.

    Comment by oneofthevoicesinmyhead | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  4. It tastes awesome right off the stove – I usually make a double batch, though, so as to freeze some for later.

    Comment by Cait | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  5. i use dark or unsweetened chocolate in my chili too, gives it a nice rich taste without changing the chili-liciousness. plus, as an added bonus, chocolate is alkaline, and alot of the tomatoes etc are acidic…so it cuts down on the acidity for anyone who tends to get heartburn. score.

    Comment by karisitah | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  6. This Chili sounds amazing. I’ve never thought of chocolate in my chili but have to admit it sounds like a great addition. I’ll have to try it with a little Norah Jones to finish off the night. Nice.

    Comment by Libby | Outdoor Kitchen | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  7. Last comment reminds me of something I heard on the radio yesterday morning. The three music artists who are most likely to put people to sleep are:
    1) Norah Jones
    2) someone else
    3) yet another person

    Comment by WhoMee | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  8. WM, that is cracking me up and I don’t even think I understand why.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  9. chili always tastes better with scotch!

    also whomee, that was hilarious, and i also am not sure why.

    Comment by stopthemadness | March 31, 2009 | Reply

  10. I can’t explain it. This stuff just pops in my head and ends up on the Internet.

    Comment by WhoMee | March 31, 2009 | Reply

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