The Henniker Rotary Chili Fest takes place in August each year

Chili Recipes

Spring Chicken and White Bean Chili, Chef Nicole


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 lg green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lg yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch asparagus, diced
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cut in 1/2" cubes
  • 3 tbls chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne papper
  • 2 tbls cumin
  • 1/2 tbls black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbls oregano, dried
  • 30 oz white beans, drained (reserve juices)
  • 30 oz canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro. rough chopped


1. In large pot heat oil until very hot over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers, garlic and asparagus. Cook until slightly softened (about 5 minutes).
2. Add chicken and all spices and sauté until chicken is almost fully cooked through.
3. Add beans, chopped tomatoes and one cup of reserved bean liquid.
4. If chili seems too thick, add more reserved bean juice until it is to your liking.

Black-Eyed Pea Relish

A single fiery Serrano is all this dish needs for heat; serve it either with bruschetta as an appetizer or as an alternative to traditional baked beans at a cookout.

  • small red onion, diced
  • 1 yellow sweet pepper, diced
  • red sweet pepper, diced
  • green sweet pepper, diced
  • 1 fresh Serrano chile, thinly sliced rings
  • 1 clove peeled garlic, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 11-oz pkg. steamed ready-to-eat black eyed peas, rinsed and drained; or one 15-oz can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 Roma tomato, sliced (optional)

In a large bowl, gently combine red onion, sweet peppers, chile, garlic, diced tomatoes, black-eyed peas and vinegar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with tomato slices if desired. Refrigerate 1 hour for flavors to blend and for chiles to pickle. Makes 6 servings.

From Yankee Magazine, 2011

In 2007, Jerry Buma of Northbridge, Massachusetts was the first New Englander crowned International Chili Society World Champion. He beat out 154 of the best chili cooks from all over the world and took home a cash prize of $25,000. This is his recipe for "home chili." Competition chili "isn't something anyone would want to eat," he explains. It's made just for tasting, not to eat by the bowlful (besides, he'd never give out his prize winning secret recipe.)

Booma's Revenge Chili
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish Time: 2 hours
Yield: 10 servings


  • 3 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 serrano (medium spicy) chiles, minced
  • 1 10½ ounce can double-strength beef stock (or 2½ cups beef stock boiled down to 1¼ cups)
  • 6 tablespoons chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 19-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (optional)

In a large (7 quart) heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat, cook ground beef, breaking it up with a potato masher until it is fully cooked. Then drain and discard most of the rendered fat.

In a separate medium-size sauté pan over medium heat, add oil and cook red pepper, onion, garlic and chiles just until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add cooked vegetable mixture, beef stock, spices, sugar and diced tomatoes to the big pot and simmer 1 hour.

Add tomato paste; stir well and cook another half-hour, stirring occasionally. If you are using beans, stir them in 10 minutes before serving.

Leftover Chili Hot Pocket
Mike Morin August 19, 2011
Makes 4 Hot Pockets

  • 1 Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheet
  • 1 cup leftover chili, warmed
  • A few chopped onions & shredded cheese (optional)
  • 1 egg white

Heat oven to 400-degrees

Follow pastry package directions for thawing of dough sheet. When it is still cold but pliable, flatten the sheet on a counter dusted with flour. Cut the sheet into 4 equally-sized portions and separate carefully. Finish your assembly while dough is cold.

Put about one-quarter cup or a bit more leftover chili and optional ingredients onto the center of the pastry. Leave an equal amount of space, about all around the border.

Using a pastry brush or your fingers, brush the outer border with the egg white.

Gently fold the top part over the chili toward you and secure it to the part of the pastry nearest you.

After softly tamping the 3 sides together, use a fork to crimp the sides together. If filling leaks out, you used too much.

Cut two slits in the top of the dough, then egg wash the entire exposed surface.

Put on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake about 20 minutes or until light brown and fully risen. Garnish with scallions if you like.

Chilifest Photo

Chilifest Photo

Chilifest Photo

This video was created in 2011 and refers to the 2011 Chili Fest.

Watch for our 2020 Chili Fest next August and join your neighbors and friends in this annual family friendly event at Pats Peak Ski Area, 686 Flanders Road, Henniker, NH

Admission: Adults, $12.00; children 10 and under, $6.00; infants/toddlers free; Hours: Noon - 4:30 PM

Proceeds from the annual Chili Fest support local, national and international projects sponsored by the Henniker Rotary Club and Rotary International.

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