Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tailgater Chili ala the SEC




Ha. Gotcha. It's football season for colleges and the pros. 

For those of you who don't know, my husband is a consultant for college sports, which includes consulting for the Southeastern Conference (SEC), which might have the best tailgating experience in the country because of their fan zeal and great southern cooking.

I've told people he works for the SEC and many have said they didn't know he was in finance.  LOL.  

College sports?  To-o-o-o-otally different. 

Anyway, like I said, it's football season. Which means it's time to have fun stuff to eat at home while watching the games or to eat at the back of your SUV, car, truck, or RV. 

We received a cookbook from Southern Living, which is the Official Tailgating Book SEC. You know right now I'm into cookbooks, right? Why? Because I'm writing the new A COOKBOOK NOOK MYSTERY series. Lately, I've been asking for all sorts of cookbook ideas. 

In fact, I'm starting a contest in January for cookbook names and recipes you love. The winner will win $100 basket in July, when the series debuts. So put your thinking caps on.

Anyway, chile. I love chile. And this recipe from the SEC version of Southern Living was so great, I had to try it...tweaked, of course. I love to tweak. The SEC version had a number of already prepared things. I went au naturel with the beans and more.

By the way, the more CHEESE (can't lose my love of cheese), the merrier. 

And, my second by the way: the salsa is fabulous!!!

Ala Southern Living
The Official Tailgating Book SEC
Makes 8-10 portions

1 large sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups cooked chicken breasts, cubed *
28 ounces chicken broth (gluten-free  used: *Pacific Natural Foods)
1 can chopped green chiles (7 ounces)
3 cups pre-soaked pinto beans (about 1 cup dried, soaked overnight)
(The Southern Living recipe called for 3 cans (16 ounces) navy beans.
I couldn’t find them and prefer fresh, which are so easy to do.)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon garlic salt or onion powder
(This recipe called for a package white chicken chili seasoning mix. I couldn’t find that so I concocted my own mixture of spices)

Toppings: sour cream, Monterey Jack cheese, Avocado-Mango Salsa

I love a slow cooker. Though this recipe did not call for it, I poured everything but the beans into the slow cooker. I mashed one cup of the beans (in a food processor) to a pulp, then added the beans and pulp into the slow cooker.

I set the cooker on low for 4 hours. Then I turned it up to medium-high for 2 hours.

Serve with toppings.


1 large avocado, cubed
1 cup mango, diced
½ red onion, diced
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
(This recipe called for cilantro. I’m not a fan. But if you are, add 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped)

Stir together and serve immediately.

Ooops! I forgot to get a picture with the sour cream on. We added that at the table. Delish!

* As the cookbook says, the salsa stands alone, served with your favorite chips.

* Also, the cookbook says that you can use rotisserie chicken (already cooked from your store) to make this recipe in a FLASH!  I cooked breasts wrapped in foil at 275 degrees for 1 hour. Perfect and tender.

We devoured this chili. So filling. So satisfying. Enjoy!

This Week's Contest:

All commenters on this post this week will be entered in a
contest to win her (his) choice of  A Cheese Shop Mystery series.
Even the newest TO BRIE OR NOT TO BRIE...if you're willing to wait until February!

PS If you have another Southern Living Cookbook or chile recipe you like, bring it on!!!

Say cheese!

{Remember to check back next Wednesday to see if you're the 
winner or include your email in your response and I will contact you!}


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 click the Print Friendly button below 

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* * * * *

The 4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series: 


comes out in February.

You can pre-order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.

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Keep up to date on Daryl's website

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She doesn't say all the same things Avery does. Promise.

Say cheese!



  1. Try the Roast Beef Party Sandwiches on They use havarti and are a real favorite. By the way the cookbook title I would use would be The Ultimate Church Cookbook.

    1. Sue, I'll definitely check out your recipe. Love havarti! And I haven't heard about that cookbook, but I'll check it out. Thanks for chiming in!

      ~Daryl aka Avery

  2. LOL on the SEC. Love a hot bowl of chili on a cold fall day. I never tried a chicken version, so this looks intriguing. (Great idea to use the slow cooker, too.) Thanks for sharing, and have a great week. ~ Cleo

    1. Hi, Cleo, I agree, hot food on a cold day. Definitely tummy tantalizing!

      ~Daryl aka Avery

  3. Anything with mango is terrific. Yum! Great selection even if the "tailgaters" are on your sofa. Funny about cilantro. Seems like people either love it or hate it. I'm not a fan, either.

    ~ Krista

    1. Krista, I was never a mango person. Couldn't figure out how to peel it for the longest time. But then realized it's not too different from an avocado in that department. It's got a lovely, subtle flavor and really enhances this recipe. And LOL re: cilantro. I remember my first time...:)

      ~Daryl aka

  4. My hubby is a huge fan of chili so I am definitely trying this! Have been wanting a recipe for white chili and this looks fantastic. If you don't want to bake your chicken breasts in the oven, they can go in the crockpot the day before. I'll make a bunch and have them on hand for quick, easy dinners.

    1. Good tip, Peg. Do you add water or anything to them in the crockpot the day before?

      Daryl aka Avery

  5. Just got back from Maine (I'm usually in south Florida) and while up there made chili for a couple with one vegetarian and one gluten-free eater. I added two kinds of beans (black and red), canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, chili powder, carrots, potatoes, and fresh corn. It was yummy. At home I'd have added a bit of unsweetened cocoa powder. You don't taste the chocolate, but it adds a lovely depth to the mix. Served with delicata squash and a kale/bok choy mixture. We ended up stirring the separate veggies into the chili.

  6. Libby, I've heard about chocolate adding depth. It's like a tad of sugar in tomato sauce, I bet. Thanks for the tip.
    Daryl aka Avery

  7. Oh boy Libby, that sounds delicious. Where were you in Maine? I just got back from book events and family visits in Portland and Brunswick--felt my first earthquake last night during my book talk! In Maine!

  8. This ACC fan might have to roll up her sleeves and make some SEC chile! Looks amazingly delicious! :-)

    1. Oh, APD, I did NOT mean to alienate any other fans of other conferences - TRULY - personally I'm a Pac-12 fan (Stanford) but I loved that something like the SEC came up with a cookbook. Talk about a fan base. And this chile was wonderful. And, well, it's my husband's business, too, right? :)

      Glad you liked it.

      Daryl aka Avery

    2. No worries! I was just joshin' around (in one of the toughest mediums to convey humor)... your post made me feel hungry, not alienated :-)

    3. Oh, I know you we're joshing. Rivalries are part and parcel , right? ;)

  9. Lucy, we have a house in Ellsworth, Maine. Soon(ish) we'll live half the year there and half the year in south Florida.