Friday, October 19, 2012

Whoa Noah Green Chili

Our ward (parish) has an annual chili cook-off and I took a siesta from my vegan diet to enter it. One of the categories was "most unusual chili" and I figured I could win that category. I used an adaptation of a green duck chili recipe from the Food Network which looked really good, and unusual in itself. First, I had to get some unusual ingredients. The recipe already called for duck, so that was a no-brainer. In my church circle, my guess is that only 10% of the people have tried duck, so it qualifies as unusual. I bought a fresh duck at an Asian store, 
removed the skin and cut it up with scissors into small pieces. 
A local store often sells unusual meats, so I stopped in and purchased a frozen whole pheasant. 
It thawed nicely 
and provided about as much meat as the duck. 
A friend of mine had previously given me some wild boar sausage from an animal he shot earlier in the year. So I used a pound of it. He was also participating in the chili cook-off, making wild boar sausage chili.  I love lamb, figured it would add some nice flavor, so I also added a pound of ground lamb to the mix. Finally, a friend donated what I knew would be the focus of my chili, a relatively small red diamond rattlesnake. It arrived with the head freshly cut-off. 
I skinned it, covered it with some ground garlic, and baked it in foil in the oven for about an hour. 
De-boning a rattlesnake is not an easy task and there is relatively little meat. 
But I figured even though it would not add any distinctive taste, the mental part would be enough to get people excited. I bought lots of peppers, grilled them outside, and cut them into small pieces: 3 poblano peppers, 6 Anaheim chilis, 5 serrano chilis, 3 jalapenos, 1 red bell and two yellow bell peppers. 
Also two whole ears of sweet corn-on-the-cob, roasted with the husks, then the kernels removed with a knife, and for good measure, 2 whole roasted heads of garlic, mashed (probably about 20 cloves). I put the ground lamb in a large pot, with just a small bit of canola oil, and started to cook it over the stove. The lamb added some nice tasting fat which I used rather than adding more canola oil. As it started to brown I added the duck and wild boar sausage, and later, the pheasant, which I did not want to cook too long. Then I added a quarter cup of masa harina (which I purchased from a Mexican market, the kind they use to make tortillas), a half cup of flour, and spices: a tablespoon of ground cumin, a teaspoon of ground coriander, 3 tablespoons of kosher salt, a tablespoon of ground paprika, 2 tablespoons of ground black pepper, a tablespoon of ground cayenne pepper, and to add a little more heat and flavor, about three tablespoons of ground wet paprika, out of a jar, marvelous stuff we purchased in Budapest. I cooked it for 3 to 5 minutes, then added four cups of chicken stock, two large chopped onions, and all of the peppers, corn and garlic, and the rattlesnake. I simmered the whole concoction for about 40 minutes or so, then let it sit overnight in the refrigerator. 
Chili is always better when it has had a chance to meld for a day. I must admit I was a little surprised at how good it turned out. I really, really liked it. The lamb and wild boar kind of infused their flavor throughout and nice chunks of duck and pheasant added taste as well as different texture. The rattlesnake could be identified by stringy strips of meat and several people, including Judy, got tiny little bones which verified that rattlesnake was, indeed, an ingredient. I was more surprised to find that the chili was completely gone by the end of the event. And yes, it was judged most unusual, and hottest (not something I was trying for).  


  1. I have to admit that it was right tasty. I especially loved all the peppers.

  2. I can't imagine how excited your ward members must be when they hear these words: "Bob is competing in the cook-off!"

  3. Should have just renamed the category Bro. Cannon's Category.

  4. Can we still trust chili recipes from Bob Cannon the Vegan? Did you at least taste this stuff before you posted it?

    1. I went non-vegan for the event. I ate a lot of it. I loved it.