1 rating

Pheasant Chili Austin-Style


As a Clevelander, I’ve always enjoyed beans in my chili until a time while at culinary school I learned a lesson about chili — that it is great without beans. A big man by the name of Stewart Scruggs from Austin, Texas, brought a batch of his chili to watch some Sunday football. And you know what? There wasn't a bean in sight!. Thanks a lot, Stewart! I couldn’t stop eating this chili then and I can't stop making it now, so I have been known to bring it with me when invited to a pot luck dinner.


  • 3 Pounds pheasant or chicken, coarsely ground
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 red peppers, diced
  • 4 Tablespoons cayenne
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 4 Tablespoons toasted and ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon toasted and ground coriander
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 12-ounce bottles of beer, preferably IPA style
  • 2 7-ounce cans chipotle in adobo sauce, puréed
  • 1 habanero, slit down the side


Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, begin browning the pheasant along with a large pinch of salt. When browned, remove from pot with a slotted spoon. To the same pot add the onions, garlic, red peppers, and another pinch of salt. Cook until aromatic but not caramelized, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add all the dry spices and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Add the tomato paste and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with beer, being sure to scrape up browned bits with a wooden spoon. Return the meat to the pot along with the puréed chipotle and habanero, slit-side down, stirring to incorporate. Simmer over low heat for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. When ready to eat, remove the habanero and serve with your favorite chili garnishes.