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American Election Day Watch Party Meal: Chili Con Carne with Ancho Chilies

American Election Day Watch Party Meal:   Chili Con Carne with Ancho Chilies

American elections watch party meal

An elections Americana-theme meal can challenge a Hungarian. You want to please the crowd after a cold and wet New Hampshire voting day. My inviter asked to contribute a classic American side – coleslaw, condiments, relish,onions, pickles, chips, potato salad or an apple pie and ice cream. 

My idea was to bring something satisfying.  After asking around, settled down for a new classic: chili con carne, but with a healthy and spicy kick.  For health, I chose turkey meat. For spicy one can select either rehydrated dry sweet ancho chilies or the bit sharper Guajillo chilies. Knowing that the average American “does not like it hot”,the mild ancho chilies are perfectly safe to use, yet rich in flavor. I actually could find both the above dried chilies in Market Basket in NH! And even better news: the chain is coming to Plymouth in a few months!

I must say, the hungry crowd was very happy with my contribution!  

Guajillo chiles
Guajillo chiles

Chili Con Carne with Ancho Chilies

Ingredients for 6 persons:

  • 2-3 dried Ancho or Guajillo peppers, without spine & seed
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 3 strips naturally smoked bacons, diced
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 Jalapeno chilies with or without spine & seed
  • 1 pound ground turkey, 15 % fat max
  • ½ pound dry Goya Small Red Beans ( found these are the best, gentle to digest beans)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 x14 oz cans crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • Toppings: grated cheese, sour cream, cilantro


Ancho chiles
  1. Remove the spine & seeds from the dried peppers. Soak them in boiling water for 30 min, till they rehydrate. Discard liquid. Crush the peppers with a knife or in a small blender, adding some water.
  2. Cover the beans with 3-4 cups boiling water. Boil 2 minutes, then set aside, covered for one hour. Drain and rinse the soaked beans.
  3. In a medium skillet heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add bacon, and fry it, till glassy. Add the onions and jalapeños and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, and sauté it for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the turkey and cook until all the meat is browned and broken apart. Add the black beans, rehydrated chilies, cumin, salt, chicken broth and 2 cups water. Simmer for an hour.  
  5. Add the tomatoes and more water if needed. Simmer for 30 more minutes, till the beans are soft.
  6. Serve the chili with the toppings.

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