Like the other review said, this is a good base to start with. I made a couple modifications. I also doubled the recipe and found the recipe 'as is' will be a very thick chili. Instead, I used 2 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes and added a cup of water to get the consistancy I like. I also added a couple tablespoons of cayenne pepper and salt for taste once it was finished cooking.
This was OK for us. I followed the recipe exactly as written othe then I doubled it. I didn't add the optional chile. This is a very thick chili. We like a thick chili but I do think this is a bit too thick. I think it could use another can of crushed tomatoes. For us, it also needed more chili powder. I didn't like that you added the chili powder in the meat mixture. I don't think it draws through the chili that way. I added another two tablespoons to the mixture. This is a good base but for us needs some changing.