Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chili Cook Off! Chilinardo = Leonardo Ave + Chili

Front and center with the first place prize, a ceramic pig!

Need a little weekend fun?! Well, I say spice it up... on your street!

I live on Leonardo Ave and each year my block gets together and has a chili cook-off. 2011 marked the 4th annual Chilinardo. It goes like this: anyone can make a chili (usually one per household), someone offers up their front yard or driveway, you bring your chili and a serving spoon and you give your chili a title. I named the chili "Green Turtle Chili" after my son's newest word "turtle". It's BYOB, someone brings a cooler and someone supplies bowls and spoons. There is the usual pregame trash talking and a little friendly digging around looking for some insider information, all in the name of sizing up the competition and then you taste everyone's chili. Once eating has died down and the pots are empty, voting begins. We vote for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Over the years side dishes have evolved into a separate category and our neighbor Jason's cornbread has ruled the "sides" category until this year's upset by a delicious Gallo Pinto made by our friend Jennifer - recipe at the bottom! The trophies are over the top tacky and handed down each year to the winner.

This year's winning Chili happened to be mine! Not bad for a first time entry and usually it's the hubby who takes home the chili trophy. This recipe started off based on my sister Charlotte's Hurricane Chili Recipe but then and I added some cilantro, home roasted chilis and a few other twists to make it my own for the contest.

Here are some pictures from the event and of course, the recipes! Pretty easy, tastes great and healthy. Plus it makes great leftovers. Enjoy!

Green Turtle Chili

3 Chicken Breasts (bone in and skin on)
4 Poblano Chilies
4 Cloves of Garlic
1 Yellow Onion Medium Size
2 Can of White Beans (drained)
1 32oz Can of Chicken Broth
1 Bunch of Cilantro

Vegetable Oil
Smoked Paprika

-Preheat oven at 500 degrees
-Coat chilies with oil and place on sheet pan in oven. Skin should turn blackish. Turn to char other side. Take out and place in a paper bag. Wait till cool and remove most of charred skin, stems and seeds.
-In blender, puree one can of beans, cilantro, roasted chilies, salt, pepper, cumin and some stock to loosen.
-Season chicken with salt pepper and cumin.
-Put a big pot on medium high heat and brown on all sides for a few minutes in stew pot with vegetable oil. Remove and set aside.
-Sauté onion in same pot for 10 min and then add garlic for another few minutes.
-Deglaze the pan with some stock.
-Put blended ingredients, rest of stock and chicken back in pot. Simmer for about 45 minutes or until chicken done. Simmer with top on but slightly ajar.
-Remove chicken, discard skin and shred. Put shredded chicken and second can of beans in pot and check seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, cumin and smoked paprika to taste.
-Continue to cook to get desired consistency. Not too long or at too hard a simmer or beans will break up.

Voila, you have chili for 4-5, with some left overs of course :)

Here's the best side dish of the contest!
Gallo Pinto - Recipe from Jennifer Clark

2 Cups of cooked rice
2 Cups of cooked black beans with some of its stock
1 Tsp of Salsa Lizano
1 tbsp of vegetable oil or butter
½ onion, chopped
½ red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. Cilantro, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

-In a large skillet, sauté the garlic, onions and bell pepper in the oil. Add the beans with their stock and cook until it starts to come to a slow boil.
-Mix in Salsa Lizano. Add the rice and mix well, until the rice is well coated in the stock and turns a dark grayish color.
-Add cilantro, salt and pepper. Serve hot.


  1. Love this! My co-workers and I are already talking about doing a chili cook off at the office... with our slow cookers of course :)

  2. Thanks, Katharine for writing this up and for mentioning Jason's cornbread, and of course the awesome picture of the love birds. We are going to miss y'all so much it is ridiculous! The chili cook-off is probably our favorite Leonardo tradition ... right up there with the Lighting of Leonardo.