Georgia Chain Gang Chili

Georgia Chain-Gang Chili

Boy Howdy !..if EVER there was a good all 'round recipe for church socials, pot luck, or family gatherings…this one would be a sure fire can-di-date !

(with size yield; think: 1. friends for dinner, {omitted} 2. Freezer)

I do think that the name should be changed to “Georgia Chain Gang Kitchen Sink Chile”…mainly 'cause that’s just 'bout the only thing NOT in here !

Servings 20

1 cup Dry burgandy wine
1/2 tsp Dried thyme
2 Bay leaves
4 medium Garlic cloves – fine chop
1/2 tsp Fresh ground black pepper
6 pounds Coarse ground beef
2 large Chicken breasts
2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Vegetable oil
2 Onions*
3 Pork chops – coarse grind
10 Tbsp Ground Red mild chili
1 tsp Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Cumin
Rosemary (to taste)
1-1/2 cups Tomatoes – Italian-style
16 oz. Tomato sauce
8 oz.Tomato sauce – Mexican hot
1 can Jalapeno peppers – pickled
2 Tbsp Liquid hot pepper sauce
1 Tbsp Butter
3 Fresh whole green chiles
1/2 cup Mushrooms
1/2 cup Sauterne wine
12 oz. Beer~~your favorite, of course.

In a large non-aluminum (preferably glass or glazed cast iron) bowl make a marinade by combining the burgundy, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, and black pepper.
Place all the beef in the bowl and mix lightly to coat the meat well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (If time is short marinate for 2 hours at room temp.)
Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan with enough water to cover. Add 1 tsp salt and simmer over low heat for 1/2 hour. Remove the chicken reserving the liquid. Chop the chicken breasts fine and reserve. Put the oil in a large heavy pot.
Add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Meanwhile, drain the beef, straining and reserving the marinade.
Mix the beef and pork together, then combine the meats with the ground chile, cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin, rosemary, and the rest of the salt. Add this meat-and-spice mixture to the pot with the onions. Break up any lumps with a fork and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is evenly browned. Add half the marinade, the reserved chicken, tomatoes, both tomato sauces, jalapenos, and 1 Tbsp of liquid hot pepper sauce to the pot.
Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the fresh chiles, mushrooms, and a small amount of the Sauterne and cook for 3 minutes. Add this to the pot. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for at least 3 hours.
When the chili is cooking, from time to time stir in the remaining marinade, the remaining Sauterne, and beer. If more liquid is needed, stir in the water the chicken was cooked in.
Taste and adjust seasonings.

Prep Notes:…1.* Onions CAN and DO make a difference…and there ARE many different types of onions out there; red, white, brown…all with DIFFERNT taste characteristics…so expeiment and use those that appeal to your particular likes.
2. Chil…for as long as it has been around has been a dish that literally spans the entire food spectrum…from an “elegant, tasty SOUP” to the 4 alarm, have the fire dept. waiting outside the kitchen door variety…and everything in between. What this means is there’s virtually NO limit on items going into the pot…or the heat of it’s contents…ONLY what the human mouth, AND stomach, can withstand.

Serving Note: This would be one of those dishes that CRIES OUT for some diagonally sliced, toasted French bread with garlic butter…and LOTS of ice cold beer.

A little Chili History…The first “chili” recipes appeared in West Texas at the turn of the century, the time of the “Old West”. They may have had their origin from older Mexican recipes, but since most cowboys couldn’t read…or for that matter, cook very well, chili most probably got it’s start due to the availability of spices and other ingredients in the area.
A lot of ingredients available to us now were just not available then. Most chili consisted of beef, cumin, pepper, sugar, paprika, garlic, and masa to thicken. Tomatoes were seasonal and usually not available. Chili powder was not manufactured at the time…They used dried chili’s (spanish for peppers) …as most west Texas cowboys were Mexican. Most of the original chili did not have beans due to the time required to soak and cook them …chuck wagons did not appear 'til later in history and even then, on most ranches, the cowboy was on his own and didn’t have time to watch beans all day.