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Thick & Kicky Buffalo Chili

It might seem a little counterintuitive, but according to Eastern healing systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, eating hot spicy food in hot weather has a cooling effect on the body. The traditional cuisines of many warmer climates like Thailand and Mexico are filled with chili peppers and pungent spices. This peppery buffalo chili can be enjoyed in all four seasons, of course, but it’s especially nice on a warm game night with a couple of ice cold beers.

Buffalo or bison meat is naturally very lean and works well in this flavorful recipe, but you could also substitute grass fed ground beef or turkey. There are a few ways you can modify the heat to your liking, as well. Use less or more chilies or red pepper flakes for a quick adjustment. To reduce the heat, remove the seeds and veins from the hot chilies – that’s where most of the burning capsaicin is contained. Using a beer as your liquid also has a slightly cooling effect. If you want to keep the heat amped up or are off gluten (though you can always use a gluten-free beer), choose the broth option.

Though the recipe has a lot of ingredients, don’t let that scare you off because it’s super easy to put together. It makes a lot, so if you aren’t serving a crowd, plan to freeze half the recipe for a later use. Cool what you want to freeze in the refrigerator in a freezer-safe container overnight. Remove any condensation, lay a layer of freezer-safe plastic directly over the top of the chili to prevent air exposure, snap the lid over the plastic and freeze for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, remove the chili from your freezer the night before and replace it in the fridge to thaw overnight. The next night at dinnertime, remove the plastic, heat and eat!

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