Just about every guy I know thinks they make a mean pot of chili and I am no exception. Of course, in my case, I'm right; my chili is awesome.

I thought since we're about to enter chili season, I'd share the three ingredients that help give my chili its incredible flavor. Before I do, I will warn you that some of these ingredients may sound weird or unappetizing to you, but when they are combined in the proper proportions, they create magic in a bowl.

  1. Strong Black Coffee - Yep. I brew up a cup of coffee that is almost at espresso level strength and it gets thrown into the mix. Despite coffee's distinct flavor, no one has ever called me out on using this ingredient.
  2. Stout Beer - I use a stout that is just as black as the coffee in step one. The chili has to simmer for a couple of hours to mellow out the beer flavor, but it's worth the wait.
  3. Cocoa Powder - Coffee + Stout Beer + Cocoa equals something that doesn't taste like coffee, stout beer or cocoa. They all combine to make some new flavors that make my chili recipe something special

Obviously there is more to my chili than those ingredients, but most of the other stuff is pretty traditional (except maybe the brown sugar).

I'd love to hear what other people use to make their chili extra special. If you're feeling generous, leave a comment and share your secrets (about chili).