Yum, But Not Yum-o: Ragin' Cajun Chili

I followed the recipe for Ragin' Cajun Chili to a tee, but it was so spicy that it was even too hot for us (and we really like it spicy). If there wasn't an error in this recipe, then it was intended for people with asbestos tastebuds.

Don't get me wrong, it was still yummy, but not as good as it could have been (hence the "Yum, But Not Yum-o" label instead of the "It's a Keeper" label). I also have to take some responsibility for it not turning out exactly right. I mean, I could have exercised some independent thought and not added both 4 tablespoons of hot sauce, 2 tablespoons of chili powder and 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper all to the same pot, despite what the recipe said. Hey, I'm still learning! Cut a girl some slack! I double-pinky swear that I won't make the same mistake twice.

So here's the recipe with my comments (and correction to the recipe) in brackets. You can find the recipe here, with instructional pictures included, too.

1/2 pound andouille sausage [If your store does not have andouille, try linguica.]
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 1/2 pounds ground pork
3 ribs celery
1 large onion
1 green pepper
4 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons hot sauce (Red Hot or Tabasco) [That's a whole lot of hot sauce, right?]
2 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons chili powder [Since there's so much hot sauce, I would cut this in half and only use 1 tablespoon, just for the flavor.]
2 tablespoons cumin
2 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper [Next time, I would omit the cayenne pepper entirely. The hot sauce is made with cayenne pepper and I think this is the straw that broke the camel's back.]
3 cups chicken stock
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches scallions
1 large bag plain Fritos

Heat EVOO in a large Dutch oven pot and cook the andouille sausage for about 2 minutes. Add the ground chicken and pork in an even layer. Do not overcrowd the pot; the meat should be super-duper brown. Break up the meat with the back of a wooden spoon and scrape up the bits at the bottom. Continue to cook until all the meat is browned. To the pot add the celery, onion, green bell pepper and garlic, and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add the hot sauce, thyme, chili powder [only one tablespoon, not two], cumin, paprika and cayenne [no cayenne!], and continue cooking for another minute. Pour in the stock, crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, bring to a bubble and turn down to a simmer. Let cook for another 20 minutes or until reduced.

Season the chili with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with some crushed fritos and chopped scallions on top.


  1. Whoa, that's a lot of hot sauce and chili powder. I like spicy food as well, but that sounds like a whole lotta spicy.

    Maybe next time you make it (with less of the hot ingredients), it'll be "yum-O" because it won't fry your taste buds. ^__~

  2. I love Rachael Ray and I love your blog. I have read everything about her but I still learn something new when I come to your site.

    And about the ragin' cajun chili, I'd have to cut back. Just the cayenne alone would fry my tongue!

  3. Don't worry about it - sometimes I blindly follow a recipe despite the little voice in my head screaming "Don't do it!" We know that we know better, but we think "Hey, it's a printed recipe, it must be right."

    One TABLEspoon of cayenne pepper is A LOT, even without the hot sauce and chili powder. That has to be a typo - perhaps they meant 1 TEAspoon. Regardless, I think the hot sauce is plenty (although, again, FOUR tablespoons seems like a lot) and I'd leave out the cayenne altogether. If you want it spicier after the dish is made, you can always add in more hot sauce. It's easier to add then take away. :)

  4. Thank you, Sarah! That's exactly what I thought and after a long day at work, my reasoning skills can be compromised.

    So, I'll knock it down to just the hot sauce and maybe a little chili powder for flavor next time. Sigh.

  5. I've noticed that in general, her recipes tend to be very spicy, so its definitely not just you.

  6. Yuzu - the funny thing was that everyone tried so hard to choke it down so I wouldn't feel bad!

    Hey That Journalist - I just recently found your site and I am including your Rachael Ray post from this week in my weekly Roundup!

  7. Dahlia - I usually like it really spicy, but this one was over the top even for me!

  8. i love spicy food too but i hate it when spice or heat is too overpowering. you just loose all sense of what it is supposed to taste like. too bad because that sounds yummy!

  9. Rachel - I will definitely try making this one again, except I will follow (a) common sense and (b) the suggestions left here!

  10. I usually add more spice than is called for in her recipes. Example, 3 chipotle peppers instead of 2 in the smoky chicken tortilla soup. But, in this case it does seem like a lot of heat.

  11. Marisol - I really think with a few tweaks, it would have been a great recipe. That tortilla soup is a keeper, too.

  12. Whoa, I have to disagree on the spicyness. First take my background into account, I was raised and still reside in Cajun country. This chili is a staple in my home since the first time we ate it. The entire pot was gone in 2 days between myself, my girlfriend, and a visitor.

    It is certainly spicy, but if you love spicy (wasabi, hot sauce on your eggs, salsa that makes most folks cringe, etc) then this is PERFECT as it is. I also tend to add many more natural peppers to dishes that call for them.

    YUM-OOOOH for me, my friend, and my family!

  13. I made it after I saw it on her show a few months back. I loved it...and actually had to add more hot sauce then she called for because i didn't taste the spice...my son loved it as well...my boyfriend on the other hand...I made it with half of the hot sauce, and he couldn't handle it!

  14. I make this a lot and just cut the spices in half :)


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