The 20th Annual Lansing Board of Water & Light Chili Cook Off is tonight at Adado Riverfront Park. WMMQ afternoon host Nick Chase will broadcast his show live from the event from 3PM to 7PM. There will be forty vendors offering up their version of the best chili.

How's your chili recipe?

Michigan State University Executive Chef Kurt Kwiatkowski is sharing his recipe with us - maybe next year you can take this one to a competition!

Chef Kurt's Chili

2 pounds ground venison or beef

6 ounces bacon, chopped up into small strips

1½ cups diced onion

1 cup diced celery

1 red pepper diced up

1 jalapeno, seeded and diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 ounce tomato paste

1 bottle of your favorite beer

2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth

1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes

2 14 ounce cans of black beans rinsed and drained

3 TBSP chili powder

1½ TBSP cumin

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp smoked paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsps apple cider vinegar

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


Cook the bacon in a soup pot over medium heat to render fat, and let the bacon crisp up. Remove pieces of bacon, and reserve, and leave fat in the pot. Season the venison or beef with salt and pepper, and flatten out the meat as much as possible, browning the meat for 2-3 minutes on each side. Note that the meat will still be raw, if you have to work in batches that is ok, remove meat when it is seared on both sides and reserve with the bacon.

Sauté onions, celery, and peppers over medium heat for 5 minutes, add garlic and tomato paste and sauté an additional 2 minutes.

De-glaze pot with the beer, scraping the bottom of the pot, and then add broth, tomatoes, beans, dried seasonings, reserved bacon, and meat including any juices that might have been on the plate.

Stir all ingredients well, reduce heat to low and let cook for about 1 hour or until chili starts to thicken up a little.

Remove from the heat, add the vinegar and cilantro, taste, and adjust with salt and pepper as needed