Originally Posted by Janet H
I often add a few broken up fresh corn tortillas. it deepens the flavor and thickens the chili a bit.
I've done this ant it adds a wonderful flavor. You can also add a quarter cup of masa harina (corn flour) instead to thicken and add that same flavor.
herbs/spices I look for are dark chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, flavor of peppers, cumin, coriander, cilantro. Flavors that add depth are unsweetened cocoa, or chocolate, masa harina, clelery, black, pinto, and kidney beans, sweetener (brown sugar, white sugar, mollases, or maple syrup), diced fresh peppers, onion. For me I have to have fresh tomatoes, or great canned tomatoes such as purred tomato, diced tomato, you know, something that tastes like tomato rather than processed tomato sauce. But there also has to be the richness of tomato paste or sauce to ballance out the tomato flavor, I prefer paste as it hasn't had other flavors added. I like to add my own flavors.
From there, add interest and variety by adding any combination of tomatilla, beer, Salsa Verde', cinnamon, smoke flavoring, or fire, grilled beef, pork, chicken, etc.
For me, the most important thing about chili is to make what you like. Try different flavors. Find something that is unique and great for you. Hopefully, others will share your enjoyment. And always, always, always remember the golder rule of soups and sauces. Add flavors slowly, let them simmer a bit before tasting. You can always add more. But once it's in the pot, it can't be removed.
Seeeeeeya; Goodweed of the North