WARNING: We are food critics here. Seriously though, it is not on purpose nor are we snobs. In fact we have been in seasons of life where we had very little to work with. We were so thankful BUT determined to make it taste great! I truly feel like that made us better flavor critics and pushed me to further limits on my cooking.
(I have always been a baker- I was spoiled with a family of bakers. One through the depression with a large family- she is my hero! They could whip up desserts, cakes and cookies with almost nothing. I am SO GRATEFUL to be able to partake and learn in the kitchen during my childhood!) I have done the same with my kiddos in all areas of the kitchen!
Due to this, we take the good with the bad, my kiddos have high expectations and chili is no exception. There are many ways to make chili and it’s hard to make “bad chili”, but my kids say there are few people/places that actually make GOOD chili. One of those places is Wendy’s!!! SO, I have to confess, I had my first bowl of Wendy’s chili this week. (As I am writing this.) My son suggested it repeatedly. We don’t live under a rock, LOL! But few places have flavor packed soups, stews and chili’s like we enjoy them. AND I LOVE SOUP! So it’s simple, we don’t waste the money and order them. (With the exception of a restaurant located in Hinckley, MN-“The Winds”. ~If you ever pass through there going out East, stop and order the Wild Rice Soup or French Onion- it’s loaded with goodness and you will not be disappointed!)
Although Wendy’s chili is not like ours, and I won’t trade recipes. Credit is due, they make good chili! So on with the show, here is a copycat recipe of Wendy’s Chili directly from a former employer.
Chop 2 large green peppers, 2 large onions & 2 stalks of celery. (This is a copycat recipe OR I would tell you to substitute for better flavor!!!) Set aside.
Find your Xlg cast iron fry pan. In 1 Tablespoon of oil, brown 2 lbs of burger. Continue browning, breaking up the burger. Add chopped celery and 2/3 of the onions, placing the remainder in a small serving bowl to top if one so chooses.
Next, cook until clear or translucent. (Just shy of 5 minutes.) Add 3 cans of stewed tomatoes. (Totals to 42 oz. of stewed tomatoes.) Then add 1 can of rotel tomatoes with chilies, 1 Cup of water, (1) 14oz can of tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to stir on medium heat.
Stir. With your wooden spoon mix around your tomatoes and break apart any large chunks. Once finished add on packet of McCormick Chili Seasoning. Heat.
Add in kidney and pinto beans. (2 cans of each) Upgrade or add to your seasonings if needed. (To your liking)
Now if you do not have a jumbo/ Xlg cast iron pan; then a dutch oven, stock pot or a soup kettle may be used to fit all your ingredients. Boil for 1 hour. Add 1 & 1/2 Tablespoons of white vinegar. Stir. Remove from heat.
Serve hot. Top with cheese, the remaining onions and unused green peppers if desired. Happy Homemaking! Enjoy!