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Ask An OC Chef: Your Best Chili Recipe

chili 610 header
(credit: Shutterstock)

Chili is one of the great American comfort foods, especially in the winter. With meat and vegetables combined, this is a meal that "sticks to your ribs" as your grandma used to say. Plus, you can spice it however you like to make sure that you're not only satisfied but warmed from the inside out. Chef Alan Jackson of Lemonade presents a recipe that is both delicious and a little lighter than chili made with beef or pork.

newport beach LEMONADE
(credit: Crystal H./Yelp)

Alan Jackson
987 Newport Center Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
(949) 717-7525

Alan Jackson founded Lemonade when he wanted to provide quick or take-out meals that were healthier than standard fast food. Lemonade now has 14 locations throughout southern California. Jackson recently released the first Lemonade cookbook that includes more than 120 recipes. He provides a recipe for chili, which is not only one of the most popular menu items at Lemonade, but also healthier than a lot of chili recipes. This recipe can also be made vegetarian. This might become a favorite in your house - especially as the temperatures drop.

Related: Best Places To Get Clams In Orange County

chicken chili at Lemonade Newport beach
(credit: Nicole K./Yelp)

Chicken Chili (makes 10 cups)

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 pounds ground chicken, dark and white meat
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp granulated onion
  • 2 Tbsp dried sage
  • 1 Tbsp coarse salt
  • 1-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 quart chicken broth


  1. Put a Dutch oven or a pot over medium-high heat and coat with oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions, carrots and celery.
  3. Saute the vegetables until they are soft and begin to brown - about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken and break it up with a wooden spoon as you saute it - about 5 minutes until it is no longer pink.
  5. Sprinkle in the cumin, chili powder, paprika, granulated onion and sage and cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. Slowly sprinkle in the flour, stirring constantly, until the flour is combined.
  7. Add the can of tomatoes and the broth, and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  8. Simmer uncovered until the chili is thick - approximately 1 hour.

Related: Best Bloody Marys In Orange County

Gary Schwind is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on
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