Football Food – Chili & Wings


I gotta admit that (outside of maybe women’s beach volleyball) I have pretty much zero interest in watching sports. So I view the upcoming Superbowl as mostly an excuse to grill, drink beer, and hang out with friends. To that end, here are a couple of my favorite foods to serve for the big game:

Black Bean Chili

1 pound ground chuck (coarse grind if you can get it)
1 pound ground turkey (white and dark meat )
1/2 pound chorizo (I used Supremo)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup pickled jalapeños, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounce) diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can (15 ounce) diced tomatoes with liquid
3 cans (15.4 ounce) black beans, drained
2 cups beef broth
1 cup beer
2 ancho peppers, dried
4 guajillo peppers, dried
2 chipotle peppers, dried
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
Chili powder to taste (I ended up using 1 tablespoon Penzys Chili 9000 and 1 tablespoon of their Medium Hot)

Wearing rubber gloves, stem and seed the chiles. This is easiest to do with a pair of kitchen shears. Gently pull the stem  until it pops off (taking  most of the seeds with it), cut open the side of the pepper, then spread it open and scrape out the remaining seeds and veins.

Get some ventilation going with an open a window or an exhaust fan. Fill a bowl about half full of hot water and have this ready beside the stove.  In a dry skillet with no oil, fry the chiles  in small batches over medium heat for just for about 15-20 seconds a side until they start to change color and become fragrant. When they are done cooking,  remove them to the bowl of water.

When all of the chiles are cooked and in the bowl, use a small plate to weight them down so they are completely covered in water. Let this sit 10-15 minutes.

Drain the chiles, discarding the soaking water. In a sauce pan, combine the chiles and the beef stock.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Blend the chile sauce until smooth. You can do this by running batches through a blend or food processor, but I find it easiest to just leave everything in the pot and use an immersion blender. Remove the pot from the heat and put it in the sink to help contain any splatters. Put the sauce aside to cool.


This is a recipe that is easier to start on the stove and then move to the grill. You could do it all on the stove top, but then you’re missing out on all the wonderful flavor that smoke brings to the dish.

Set your grill or smoker up for at least a 3 hour cook over indirect heat at 300°F. On the Big Green Egg that means filling the firebox with lump charcoal and using the plate setter inverted with a trivet on it to diffuse the heat. I used a little guava wood for smoke.

On the stove, brown all the meat  in a large dutch oven or other grill-safe pan. Drain if needed. Season with the salt and add the onions, garlic, and green pepper. Cook until the veggies go limp and the meat is fully cooked (about 5 minutes).

Add the adobo, mix and let simmer for a few minutes. Add the jalapeños, beer, tomatoes, and beans. Mix well and move the uncovered pan to the grill. Close the grill lid and cook for an hour. Stir and check your seasoning, adding chili powder, salt or pepper as needed. Cook for another hour, or until it has cooked down to the desired thickness.  Adjust seasonings again, and serve with a sharp grated cheddar cheese and a dollop of crema.

Grilled Buffalo Wings


3-4 pounds fresh chicken wings (about 16-24 wings), whole
1/2 cups  Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/3 cup butter
2 tablespoons garlic salt
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Fresh ground black pepper

Season wings with garlic salt and black pepper. Lay wings out on a rack or jellyroll and let sit uncovered in the refrigerator while you set up the grill.

Set up your grill for an indirect cook at 400°F. Use a pan under the grate to catch any drippings and further diffuse the heat. I added a raised rack and to get the wings further up in the dome of the Big Green Egg.


Combine the hot sauces, butter, garlic powder, sugar, and celery salt in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Heat until the butter is melted and stir to combine all the ingredients. Remove from heat, but keep warm.

When the grill is ready, put the wings on the grill and cook undisturbed for 30 minutes. Check for any hot spots, rearrange as needed, flip only if the wings are cooking unevenly. Cook for another 30 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

Pour sauce into a large container with a lid. Add the wings and toss to mix well. Move to a plate and serve with bleu cheese dressing and celery sticks.

4 thoughts on “Football Food – Chili & Wings”

  1. Excellent chili, I love chorizo in mine too! I’m going to have to try your method using the plate setter. I did mine with direct heat at 300-350f (if memory serves) in a covered dutch oven for only about an hour. I’d like to try the low and slow uncovered.

  2. I’m with you on the wings. I’ve never tried the black beans (I usually use more traditional kidney beans).. but this sounds like a winner.

    For the wings.. dump the tabasco and get some Caribbean scotch bonnet sauce.. that rocks.

    1. Thanks! I hear you on the hot sauce, but I’m down to just a few drops of my precious Marie Sharps. I know I can mail order it, but I’m trying to talk the dear wife into another trip to Belize.

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