So exciting! 3T Ranch has won the Upton FFA Chili Cook-Off Competition two years in a row! I was so glad to have helpers this year and the ladies ruled the competition. It is hunting season and the guys were scouting the ranch for deer and pronghorn while the ladies were busy in the kitchen getting ready for the chili cook-off. Our oldest one Luke came home for the weekend with his girlfriend Laura, who was in charge of cutting up all of the vegetables while Allie and I made sure the buffalo chicken chili had all of the other ingredients.

I knew I needed to make something different to stand out in the competition. Even though, we are a small Wyoming town, the competitors sure make some amazing chili.

Lots of flavor come from the rotisserie chicken, broth along with the spice from the buffalo sauce that gets balanced out with the corn and cream cheese. Some people may not like blue cheese crumbles, but it is a crucial ingredient and it gives a wonderful zing to the chili. Nobody will guess it is there and for the blue cheese lovers, you can serve extra blue cheese to put on the top of the soup. The celery leaves will give the soup nice herb freshness.

As my mom would say, presentation is 1/2 of the competition. We had to stand out not only with our amazing chili, but also with the table decor and some extra snacks to go alongside with the chili. We have served carrots and celery sticks in a cup with ranch dressing and extra blue cheese crumbles. People will notice this extra step.

It was a fun afternoon with Laura and Allie and the guys showed up just in time to vote for us and taste this award winning chili.

I wonder what we will make next year! Not only it is fun to win, but what a great way to support our FFA organization and our students.

– 1 rotisserie chicken – cut up into bite size cubes
– 4 large carrots – small cubes
– 5 celery stalks – small cubes along with the leaves
– 1 sweet onion – small cubes
– 1 can organic corn – don’t drain the can
– 8 oz cream cheese
– 1/2 bottle of 12 oz Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce (you can always add more)
– 1 can 10 oz Rotel fire roasted diced tomatoes & green chillies
– 2 cans 15.5 oz each Cannellini beans – don’t drain the can
– 5 oz blue cheese crumbles (crucial ingredient, nobody will know it is in the chili, but it will add a nice zing to the soup).
– 1 dry Ranch salad dressing mix (dry packet seasoning)
– 2 32 oz each chicken broth
– salt and pepper to taste


– Saute carrots, onion and celery until translucent.
– Cut up rotisserie chicken.
– Pour chicken stock into crockpot along with chicken, carrots, onion and celery.
– Mix in cream cheese, Buffalo sauce, Rotel fire roasted diced tomatoes and Ranch dressing packet.
– Cook for couple of hours on high.
– Pour in corn and beans along with all of the cans’ liquid.
– Cook for additional 30 minutes. Mix in blue cheese crumbles and celery leaves right before serving.
– You can always add more liquid (water or stock) if desired or thicken with 1/4 cup of cornstarch and 1/4 liquid from the chili. You will have to cook the chili for additional 15 minutes, if you are using cornstarch as your thickening agent.