When I need to thicken the chili, I mix a little masa harina slurry. It also adds a subtle corn flavor. You could also use 2 corn tortillas, diced and blended until smooth with some of the warm broth from chili. Add it in to simmering chili for thickening. Roast jalapeños on the stove top in a nonstick skillet at medium heat. Add just 1 teaspoon of oil and char, turning as needed. To cook beans from scratch, I soak by beans overnight. Drain water and add fresh water to cover. Add onion, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Cook at a steady simmer for 2 or more hours or until beans are tender. Add salt once beans are cooked. You will have to add more hot water as they cook.