Since we’re frugal fannies in my house, we only get basic cable – channels 1-24. Luckily for me, channel 21 is OWN. So, much of my tv watching time is devoted to “Oprah’s Next Chapter” and “48 Hours” re-runs. Well, one Saturday morning they were running old episode of Rachael Ray’s talk show. Now, I find her just as annoying as the next person (she’s especially screechy in older episodes), however, her recipes can be pretty decent. On this particular episode she happened to be making a Cajun chili that perked my ears up.
We’re big fans of smoke and spice flavors, so a chili with andouille and hot sauce sounded like a winner to me. I adapted her recipe quite a bit, removing a lot of the meat and adding beans. The vinegar spice from the hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot) and the smoky, savory quality of the sausage made this totally delicious. Plus, it’s totally freezable – which makes it easy leftovers for weeknights. In fact, the night I photographed it was a leftovers night.
So what I’m saying is I’ll have to find time to make this again, in between episodes of “Welcome to Sweetie Pies” and “Dr. Phil.”
adapted from Rachael Ray’s Ragin’ Cajun Chili
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 ounces)
4 andouille sausages (I used pre-cooked chicken)
1 can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3 ribs celery, chopped
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons hot sauce, or to taste (I used Frank’s Red Hot)
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 sprigs thyme
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
cayenne pepper to taste
2 cups chicken stock
salt and black pepper to taste
1.) Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cut the sausage in half lengthwise, then in half lengthwise again to make quartered strips. Add the sausage, onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes, until tender.
2.) Pour in the stock, crushed tomatoes, hot sauce, thyme, chili powder, cumin, paprika and cayenne. Raise the heat to medium high, to bring it to a bubble, then lower to medium low. Add the kidney beans.
3.) Let simmer for 30 minutes or more. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if necessary. Top with cheddar cheese, sour cream, chives, more hot sauce, etc.