Baseball and hot dogs? Maybe during the summer. But by time we start nearing the Fall Classic, it’s time for everyone to step up their game.The air is crisp, leaves are falling and the glory of summer is all but a distant memory. But the action on the diamond is just heating up and the greatest seven games of the baseball season are about to comm...
Baseball and hot dogs? Maybe during the summer. But by time we start nearing the Fall Classic, it’s time for everyone to step up their game.The air is crisp, leaves are falling and the glory of summer is all but a distant memory. But the action on the diamond is just heating up and the greatest seven games of the baseball season are about to commence. Major League Baseball’s World Series pits the American and National leagues against one another in a grueling contest to crown the best baseball team on Planet Earth.To fuel the celebration of these games, this bachelor has raided the local farmer’s market, loaded down the freezer with ice cold beverages, fired up the grill, tuned in early to the ballgame and invited a gaggle of great friends to chow down as we cheer, jeer and holler from the first pitch to the very last out.The all star of our grand ole’ baseball barbeque is one of my fall favorites – Grilled Rojo Chicken Chili. It’s simple to prepare, but it’s loaded with a ton of kick, smoky essence and wholesome flavor. The ingredients are sautéed, grilled, garnished and from pot to plate within 90 minutes. This is a bold, hearty chili with strong regional influences – stewed in a red ancho chili and tomato base, packed with succulent grilled chicken, a cornucopia of colorful vegetables, fresh herbs and coarse seasonings.10 Tips for World Series-Caliber Chili:
- Prepare as much as possible the evening before. Soaking the beans, grinding herbs and spices, chopping vegetables, marinating the chicken, etc.
- On game day, initiate preparation and cooking with the end in mind. Game time is 8 p.m. where I live. The recipe requires 60 minutes. Give yourself an additional 15 minutes of leeway and start at 6:45 p.m. This also allows sufficient time for last-minute fantasy team updates and lineup changes.
- I love my chili spicy. Like, smoke-out-of-your-ears spicy. But not all enjoy a spoonful of kick. Consider serving a milder version when cooking for a crowd. But make sure you have a variety of peppers, hot sauces and ground cayenne on hand for those who want to tune up their chili and ring the five-alarm bell.
- If using canned beans – purchase “no sodium” or “low sodium,” as the additional salt is both unnecessary and throws off the flavor profile of the chili.
- Grill chicken with the lid OPEN over direct heat for only a few minutes per side (“par cooking the chicken”) while integrating the smoky essence from your TRU-Infrared™ Grill. Fully submerge the shredded chicken into the simmering chili to finish the cooking process.
- Taste. Season. Taste. Season. And… taste again, just to be sure.
- In terms of chili consistency, thin with chicken stock and thicken with tomato paste – but only in increments of a tablespoon at a time.
- Install a rusty 1973 Ford Pinto 4-cylinder engine in your finely tuned 2014 Ferrari F430 and I PROMISE your Ferrari will perform like a beat-up 1973 Pinto. It looks like a Ferrari, but I promise it’s a Pinto. Lesson: Buy quality chicken. Not the stuff on sale for 68 cents per pound. I’m talking REAL chicken like the two-legged, winged creatures that have been humanely treated, non-chemically injected, nourished with fresh grains and allowed to roam freely in sunlight. The extra $2-3 per pound is a difference maker. Buy real chicken. Make Ferrari Chili. Taste the difference.
- Add bacon.
- There are no hard and fast rules to chili – or soft and slow ones, for that matter. Experiment. Eat REAL food. Drink. Be merry! Repeat.