Home ยป 3rd Annual Chili Contest: Entry #8 – Sweet Georgia Brown Chili

3rd Annual Chili Contest: Entry #8 – Sweet Georgia Brown Chili


Did we all survive Thanksgiving? I was certainly sleepy in the afternoon after our meal, but it was a success. Not only delicious, but I loaded up on salad, had one serving of dessert, and did green beans and cranberries versus a heaping pile of mashed potatoes — my favorite. I won’t say I wasn’t full, but I wasn’t uncomfortable. Thanksgiving success.

And while I won’t be subjecting my sanity to the insanity of Black Friday, I did do some online yesterday. Target and Zappos — dangerous places to be around the web!


Mr. Prevention and I will be attending the last game of the 2012 Illini football season tomorrow. We play Northwestern in Chicago and I am cautiously optimistic. This season, football has been frustrating, to say the least. We won a few games, but sadly, none of those were during the Big 10 season. By the way, why is the Big 10 adopting teams right and left?

At least our basketball season is off to a great start with a tourney championship and 6-0 start. It is looking to be a fun season to watch.


With the end of the football season comes the end of my 3rd annual chili contest! This year’s contest included 8 recipes and all were great, truly. A full round-up can be expected shortly and a winner will be declared.

This chili comes from the first annual winner, Stacey! I consider Stacey a chili fanatic and connoisseur like myself, so it came as no surprise that this chili was outstanding. From the spice combination to the dried peppers to the sugar to the whiskey…and the chocolate (!), this chili was not short on flavor. Mr. Prevention even said, “This hit the spot”…and that’s saying something after SEVEN weeks of chili!



Sweet Georgia Brown Chili recipe by Stacey McSweeney

2 oz dried ancho chiles, seeded and torn into large chunks
2 cups water
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 large green bell peppers, chopped
1 large red bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
20 oz 99% lean ground turkey breast
2 Tbsp beef base, whisked with ¼ cup of water
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) petite diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) + 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
6 oz tomato paste
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 Tbsp ancho chile powder
1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch, whisked with ¼ cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whiskey
1.5 oz bittersweet chocolate (60% cacoa), grated


Combine ancho chilis and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer over medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth.

In a large stockpot, heat canola oil over medium-high heat; add onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the ground turkey; cook until no longer pink, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon. Add the beef base paste and mix well until incorporated throughout the meat and vegetables.

Add the pureed ancho chiles, black beans, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Add spices, stirring to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for approximately 20 minutes to allow flavors to develop.

Add cornstarch mixture and stir to combine. Let cook for 5 minutes to allow the mixture to thicken. Add brown sugar and whiskey and let simmer for about 10 more minutes. Serve garnished with grated bittersweet chocolate.

Yield: 12 cups.

Nutrition Information (per cup): 254 calories; 5.4 g. fat; 21 mg. cholesterol; 903 mg. sodium; 34.4 g. carbohydrate; 8.9 g. fiber; 17.8 g. protein

Result: Hmmm…this is something everyone should try. Unique doesn’t even cover it. Brown sugar, whiskey, and chocolate? With the balance of cayenne and ancho chiles, I love it. This recipe offers up fiber and protein, while being low in fat thanks to the ultra lean ground turkey breast. This was simple to make and you can find the dried anchos in local Mexican markets, or in the produce or ethnic foods aisle of the grocery store. I can see why this recipe placed Stacey #1 and #2 in two different chili contests. This one is hard to beat…I’ll have to think on it!


I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday 🙂 If you’re braving the crowds today, good luck!

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Shundara@ SavyNaturalista
    November 23, 2012 / 2:40 pm

    I am headed out for deals today to so I am super excited, chocolate in chili sounds like a wonderful combination I must try. I can not wait to see your chili recipe.

  2. Stacey
    November 23, 2012 / 2:40 pm

    So, so glad you enjoyed it!!

  3. Anastasia
    November 23, 2012 / 6:20 pm

    Not having ever dealt with an ancho chili before..do you mean that I blend it with the boiling water or without the boiling water?

    • Nicole, RD
      November 23, 2012 / 6:23 pm

      Hi Anastasia, you blend the soaked chilis with the water. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Anna @ On Anna's Plate
    November 24, 2012 / 8:41 am

    Glad you had a good Thanksgiving, Nicole– I was kind of the same way: full, but not uncomfortable. I’ve definitely had majorly uncomfortable years, so that’s kind of a breakthrough ๐Ÿ˜‰

    This chili looks awesome!

  5. Kate
    November 24, 2012 / 2:53 pm

    Thanksgiving was fine, but the rest of the weekend was a disaster. When do I get another vacation from my vacation?

  6. Cara
    November 26, 2012 / 4:51 pm

    Awesome ingredients, I’m intrigued by this one!

  7. Pingback: 3rd Annual Chili Contest Round-Up & Winner!
  8. Christine @ Christine's Kitchen Chronicles
    November 27, 2012 / 8:16 am

    What is beef base paste and where do I find this? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it before! Can I substitute 1/4 cup beef stock or broth instead?

    • Nicole, RD
      November 28, 2012 / 7:20 pm

      Hey girl ๐Ÿ™‚ Beef paste is right by the broths…it comes in a jar and is much more concentrated (sodium, mostly) than stock. You could use bouillon or just additional salt + broth instead though, no doubt!

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