I'm a cooking Philistine. Really. Dictionary.com agrees: "a person who is lacking in or hostile or smugly indifferent to cultural values, intellectual pursuits, aesthetic refinement, etc., or is contentedly commonplace in ideas and tastes." Yep, that's us--contentedly commonplace. Especially about things like chili recipes: not for us the poblanos and serranos and ground chocolate. We are pretty content with the recipe from The Tightwad Gazette, Volume II. Without getting gourmet about it, the recipe does lend itself to creativity and using up leftovers, such as the Chicken Chili with Chickpeas that we had last night.
Here's the Tightwad recipe with my variations in brackets.
Homemade Chili/Chickie Chickpea Chili
1 tbsp oil
1 cup chopped onions (1 onion)
1 cup chopped green pepper (1 pepper)
1 lb. hamburger (1 lb. ground chicken plus about a cupful of cooked chicken, chopped small)
1 40-oz. can of kidney beans (1 (smaller) can of kidney beans, plus half a can of mixed beans (including chick peas and blackeyed peas), plus about the same amount of leftover chick peas)
1 28-oz. can of tomatoes (about 1 cup of canned diced tomatoes: I don't use more than that because we have picky eaters who will locate and leave every bit of tomato)
1 6-oz. can of tomato paste (or part of a bigger can)
3/4 cup water or as needed, depending on the amount of tomatoes and tomato paste
1 tbsp chili powder (and I add some salt as well)
(Sliced fresh mushrooms)
Heat oil in a large skillet. Brown onions and peppers. Add hamburger/ground chicken (not the cooked chicken, just the raw) and brown well. Add the mushrooms and chili powder and give them a minute to get started before you add the remaining ingredients (including the chopped chicken). Add 3/4 cup water and simmer, covered, for 1 hour (ours was done in half an hour).
P.S. I also use commercial curry powder. (Not in the chili though.)