Cook chili like a champ

Spicy, mild, beans or meat only, tomato-based or white — there are as many ways to make chili as there are people who make it. If you want to fine-tune your chili cooking chops, take a few hints from Larry Walton, the 2011 Terlingua International Chili Champion.Here are his top five tips for making great chili:*Chili Powder — Using the right chili powder makes all the differ­ence in the world. Mexene Chili Powder and Seasoning Mix is a good choice because it’s well rounded and balanced.*Meat — Choose premium quality ground beef with an 80/20 percent beef to fat ratio. Or for an interest­ing twist, choose fresh boneless, skinless chicken thighs such as Tyson’s all natural products, which are especially tender and juicy. (Find chili recipes at *Browning — A key essential is to brown your meat. It not only adds richness to your dish but also helps with the dark color of the chili. *Spices — The spices are a main ingre­dient to bring out all the flavors. It’s best to use spice pow­ders, since they’re more pungent.*Secret Ingredient — Last but not least, add your secret “booster” such as chili powder, paprika, cocoa or a few dashes of Louisiana Hot Sauce at the end of cooking to wow your tasters. Give Larry’s award-winning chili recipe — or any of these other recipes — a taste test, and see how fast your friends and family name you their favorite chili champ.Find more tips and recipes at Walton’s 2011 Terlingua International Chili Champion RecipeCourtesy of the Chili Appreciation Society International, Inc. (CASI). CASI’s mission is to educate about the historic and cultural significance of chili, and it raises over $1 million for local charities through sponsored cook-offs every year.Yield: 2 pounds, or 8 servings1st Mixture: 1 tablespoon onion granules 1 tablespoon garlic granules 1 tablespoon beef granules 1 tablespoon chicken granules 2 tablespoons Mexene chili powder 1/8 teaspoon salt 2 dashes Louisiana hot sauce2nd Mixture: 1 teaspoon garlic granules 1 tablespoon cumin 1 package Sazon Goya 2 tablespoons Mexene chili powder 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 2 dashes Louisiana hot sauceAdditional Ingredients: 2 pounds ground beef 1 14.5-ounce can beef broth 1/2 14.5-ounce can chicken broth 1 1/2 8-ounce cans tomato sauce 1/8 teaspoon brown sugar, f needed Salt to tasteMix 1st and 2nd mixtures in separate bowls. Set aside.Brown ground beef then drain off grease. Add beef broth, chicken broth and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a slow simmer for 40 minutes. Add 1st mixture and simmer for 40 minutes.Add 2nd mixture and cook on low heat for 25 minutes. If too spicy, add brown sugar and salt to taste.Easy Chicken ChiliYield: 4 servings 6 Tyson Fresh Boneless Skinless chicken thighs (cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces) 2 16-ounce cans kidney beans, not drained 2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, not drained 1 1.6-ounce package Mexene Chili Seasoning Mix 1 tablespoon garlic pepper sauce, to tasteCombine all ingredients in a large saucepan. Stir until well blended. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips or crackers. Hot Dog SauceYield: 6 servings 1 pound ground beef 1 medium onion, diced 3 tablespoons Mexene chili powder 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon oregano 1/4 teaspoon cumin 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 cups waterBrown meat (breaking up pieces) and onions; drain. At this point you can run it through a chopper if a finer dice is desired. Add all other spices; mix well. Add water and simmer for one hour. Can be made ahead of time and frozen in a nonmetallic container or freezer bag.Black and White Chili ChickenYield: 10 servings 6 Tyson Fresh Boneless Skinless chicken thighs 1 large onion, chopped 2 jalapeño peppers, fresh; seeded and finely chopped 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped 1 14.5-ounce can chicken broth 2 15-ounce cans great Northern beans, not drained 2 15-ounce cans black beans, drained 1 tablespoon Mexene chili powder 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon saltCut chicken into 1/2-inch cubes.Spray large, deep pot or saucepan with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high. Add chicken; cook 2 minutes, stir­ring frequently. Add onion, peppers and garlic. Cook 5 minutes longer, stirring occa­sionally. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes or until chicken is done (internal temperature of 170°F).Serving Suggestion: Top individual servings of chili with sour cream. Serve with mixed green salad and hot tortillas or tortilla chips. Refrigerate leftovers or freeze in a tightly sealed nonmetallic container or freezer bag. Health Benefits of Chili*Studies from around the world, including the American Association for Cancer Research, suggest that capsaicin, the spicy element of chili peppers, may help fight certain types of cancer.*The fiber-rich beans found in most chili dishes have also been linked to a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease.