Recipes in Rotation: Douglas’ Secret Christmas Chili

Rnr logoRecipes in Rotation is a series that allows me to highlight recipes that have made their way into “the book.” This book is the binder that contains recipes we make on a regular basis — at least monthly and in some cases, every two weeks. I keep them in this special binder for quick and easy access without sorting through a bunch of other recipes to speed things up when I need to get dinner on the table.

Today’s recipe is a Douglas’ Secret Christmas Chili

I have written about my Christmas Chili in the past, but no collection of my “Recipes in Rotation” would be complete without it. Not only do I make a huge batch of this at Christmas, but I also make it regularly during the year. There is almost alway a pint or two in the freezer for those occasions when you just NEED a little chili in your life. In fact, I decided to feature my chili today because I was sitting around last night thinking “Dang, I would really like some chili about now!” (LAUGH)

Chili pot

You can get the whole story about how I came to make this for Christmas every year in the recipe listing on The picture shows a Christmas-sized batch, but this recipe makes a more typical 4-5 quart batch.

(See this recipe on

Recipes in Rotation: Douglas’ Secret Christmas Chili

Recipe Type: Soup-Chili
Cuisine: American
Author: Douglas E. Welch
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 16
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1 Large onion
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 – 12oz package Jimmy Dean Pork Sausage
  • 1/2 cup red/white wine
  • 5-6 14oz cans of your favorite plain tomato sauce or homemade, of course
  • 4-5 cans of black beans
  • Splash of vinegar
  • 5-6 Tbls Chili powder (not mexican chili powder, but the traditional one with cumin, etc included)
  • 2 Tbls Dried Basil
  • 3 Tbls Oregano
  • PInch Red pepper flakes
  • Small pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  1. Finely chop onions and garlic (I use a food processor) then saute until lightly browned in the olive oil
  2. Add turkey and sausage and brown until no sign of pink
  3. Add red/white wine
  4. Cook until wine is absorbed
  5. (Here is where it goes a bit by look and feel. Add more sauce and beans if you want to make more chili and then adjust the spices accordingly)
  6. Add tomato sauce
  7. Add black beans
  8. Spoon up the meat, sauce and beans mixture and look at the ratio between the 3.
  9. You want to get a good mixture of all three in each spoonful.
  10. If needed, add more black beans
  11. Add splash of vinegar (under a tsp, probably. I have used everything from apple cider to balsamic, It just adds a little “tang” to the final taste.
  12. Add Spices
  13. Bring pot up to boil and then turn down to low simmer
  14. Typically, it will cook down by about 1/3. The longer you simmer it, the better it tastes. It also tastes better the second day when you reheat it. (SMILE)

Previously in Recipes in Rotation:


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