It wouldnít be quite right to say Iíve never made chili before. Iíve made it from mixes and fixinís, but Iíve never made it from scratch until tonight. I think maybe I should stick to the mixes and fixinís, or the real stuff that you pour out of the can. I will say one thing, though. I definitely got it hot enough to qualify as a representative example of Rachaelís Raginí Cajun Chili, which was my starting point for this feast.
I had an immediate handicap because I donít have a Dutch oven or stock pot big enough to accommodate all of the ingredients, so I had to crowd everything into the biggest pot I have. It fit, but barely. And since Rachael doesnít believe in measuring, I didnít bother. I just guessed, and apparently I guessed a little too high on the cayenne and the cumin. Good stuff, but better in moderation. (On the other hand, I couldnít get the paprika out of the can, so I gave up after I got about half the required amount.)
My biggest mistake was putting in too much liquid. It never did reduce down to the consistency of actual chili. I even let it stay on the stove almost twice as long as Rachael recommended, the result of which was that it was way hotter in every way than I really like it. But I ate it. Two heaping bowls full of it, in fact, with the chopped scallions (but not the Fritos) on top. For most of my life I havenít been able to eat anything remotely spicy, but Iím getting there. It took about half a loaf of bread to soak up the heat, but I did it. And I have oh so much left over.