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Ask Dr. Gourmet

Why don't you use broth instead of water in this soup?

Regarding your Black Bean Chili recipe, I was wondering why you would want to add 6 cups of water to this chili instead of beef broth or maybe half broth and half water. I find that using broth, either chicken or beef, instead of water in grits, rice, beans, or just about any kind of vegetable, adds a lot more flavor and doesn't have the flat taste one gets from water.

Dr. Gourmet Says...

A bowl of black bean chili - click for the recipe!

There are times when I will use stock, others water, and often a combination of the two as you suggest. In this particular recipe I didn't want the poultry flavor to dominate because I wanted the focus to be more on the beans. By cooking the chili for a long time, the turkey supplies a lot of the flavor into the dish that stock would and at the same time the softening of the beans adds a creamy texture and some depth of flavor.

This is the great thing about recipes - endless variety. I think that this chili would be great with stock.

Thanks for writing,

Timothy S. Harlan, MD, FACP, CCMS
Dr. Gourmet