James Garner’s Oklahoma Chili

Stop press!  James Garner’s daughter Gigi got in touch via Twitter about this recipe.  She thinks it may be her grandfather’s recipe rather than her father’s.  I am devastated!  I knew JG was a judge for the National Chili Championships so assumed that this recipe (published in several newspapers in the 1980s) with his name attached was his.  I’ve got this book on order to see if there is more information within – will keep you posted…

Stop press 2 – see James Garner’s Sooner Chili post for more info!

chili cookbook

It was fun at the family brewery recently when my lovely nephew Lee, who has resurrected a dormant family business,


came face to face with my ex-boyfriend Vic who he hasn’t seen for about 15 years.  I’d invited Vic and his girlfriend to join me and Mr R for some Hammerton beer at the brewery open evening (I am a Hammerton, born and bred!).  Me and Vic live in the same building and regularly get together for screenings of The Rockford Files.  I guess to some people it is odd, but I like to think of it as very bohemian that me and Mr R, and Vic and his girlfriend Anna enjoy hanging out together, drinking lots of beer and eating Chinese food.

Anna came round to my place the other day to hand deliver some beautiful books she is making right here in the same building. She has set up a small press called The Hollow Press and has three books in print so far. They are absolutely lovely. I bought hers and Vic’s, and they are in my reading pile for a day when I can give them my full attention.  They are gorgeous, perfectly formed, lovely to look at, bespoke books.

vic's bookAnna's book

I made some of James’ chilli in my slow cooker  the night before Anna came round,  for why should Vic have all the fun? This is without a doubt the best chilli ever. I am now reluctant to try any other film star’s recipe, as this is sooooooo good. You can find the recipe here, I totally recommend it, even if it seems odd to put margarine and honey in chilli.


Books take a long time to make, and good chilli takes a long time to cook. I definitely believe that things that take a long time, are worth far more than the sum of their parts.  Which is why although it is slow going, the Marie Kondo tidying fiesta is beginning to really get to a slow simmer.  I am persevering….

Me and Mr R polished off the rest of the chilli on our Cowboy Sunday with a screening of High Noon. Mr R gave me the full run-down on the significance of the film before we watched it, but it was a bit difficult to concentrate as he’d just given me the best present ever….


Score!  I am obsessed by American Pickers!  I had no idea you could get it on DVD!  But I reluctantly took a break from my compulsive American Pickers marathon to watch High Noon, and I loved it.  As some of you know, cowboys are my weakness…



3 Responses to James Garner’s Oklahoma Chili

  1. V.E.G. 25 Apr, 2015 at 11:20 pm #

    May his memory be eternal! Well done, James. Rest in peace.

  2. mark brisenden 30 Jul, 2017 at 12:30 pm #

    Finally cooked this last night and it is undeniably a fine chili . The sugar and honey really round it out and make it one for those of a sweeter tooth . Personally I like my chili with a little more fire in it than this so I will probably up the tabasco next time, but most certainly a fine chili which I let simmer for the whole time recommended .

    Also did the creamed again . Completely hooked. Even had some on toast for breakfast with a poached egg on top ! Fine start to the day.

  3. Jenny 7 Aug, 2017 at 1:20 pm #

    WOWZER – that is a fine idea for the Vincent Price creamed corn. It had not crossed my mind to have it on toast with a fried egg. I AM GOING TO COPY YOU!!

    I hear ya regarding the heat of James’ chilli. For me it is just right, but I’m happy to pop the tabasco on the table for those who like it hotter…

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