Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene Power Outage Cowboy Chili for Two


One rusted out, unusable gas grill that you regret buying from your friend

One grill grate from when you tried but failed to make the unusable grill usable

One fire bowl

One bag charcoal briquettes

One bunch of twigs for kindling (semi-dry)

Four mid sized logs (semi-dry)

One large pot

One small container of bacon drippings

Three tomatoes rescued from the garden before the 75mph winds, diced

One can beans from the back of your pantry

One onion, diced

One chili pepper, diced

One jalapeno pepper, diced

Two chicken breasts slowly going bad in your depowered refrigerator

One bottle Corona

½ pack of taco seasoning left over from Thursday’s dinner

Two cups of water

1-     Stare at the unusable gas grill.  Shake your head in shame.

2-     Prepare the fire bowl by dumping out the water, then pouring in the charcoal.  Light charcoal.  While the fire is still going add kindling and four logs, arrayed so that they can provide support for the grate as they burn.  Because the wood is wet you may want to liberally add bacon drippings which burns hot and gets your neighbors and family agitated.

3-     When the coals are burning red and the wood is spitting flame, place the grate on top of the wood.  Place the pot on top of the grate, and put a couple of tablespoons of bacon drippings in the pot.  Enjoy the melting and sputtering, then add onion.  Stir occasionally for five minutes.

4-     As onions brown, place the two chicken breasts on grate over the fire.  Turn occasionally.

5-     Add water and taco seasoning to the pot.  Stir.  When boiling, add chicken to the pot. Stir occasionally for five minutes.

6-     Add peppers, beans, and tomatoes to pot.  Stir occasionally for 40 minutes. 

7-     Drink beer while watching the pot boil and avoiding ashes flying in your face as the last of the tropical storms winds pick up.  If the pot starts to look dry, pour beer into the pot. 

8-     Check to make sure that chicken is cooked through.  Spoon chicken and chili into large bowls.  Either eat outside or light candles, because it is going to be a while until the power comes back on.


  1. Fantastic! Too bad the electricity will be back on eventually. I'd cut up a small tater or two and throw in the chili. The flooding they been showing on TV is terrible. Hope you didn't get hit too hard.

  2. The power came on after 37 hours. I was disappointed, I was really starting to enjoy cooking over a fire and the lights going out at 9pm. We made out pretty well in the storm, but Vermont of all places got killed.

    Good advice on the taters, I've never tried that.