This chili recipe is a combination of many and has all the ingredients I love and feel should be in a chili. A true chili is robust, rich and deep and a labor of love. To me, there's nothing like listening to some music on a cool morning while laying out all the ingredients to make assembling that much easier.
If you're able, make this a day ahead. Letting it sit overnight really takes the marriage of flavors to another level. I highly recommend a full bodied cabernet like this Earthquake. My husband says this is the best chili he has ever had and right after we had it for lunch, he was on his way to deliver some to both of our parents who live 25 minutes away. I am not even a chili fan and truly enjoyed it!
You can use any meats you'd like, I just suggest sticking to 3 lbs as this was perfect. We chose the usual ground beef and since Terry does not like sausage in his chili we compromised with chicken sausage from Publix Greenwise. We love the taste of it and it's healthier. It comes in a package of 5 links so I just took the casing off and crumbled the meat. This chili has a kick but it's not too spicy by any means.