can i salvage a large pot of chili with a little bit of mold on top
I’m no food scientist but I’d say absolutely NOT! I’d not even consider it. It’s simply not worth the risk. Just because you can see mold only on the top does not in any way guarantee the inner parts are safe.
Definitely not. You never want to eat food that's gone moldy unless it's something like hard cheese where you can cut off the moldy bit. In soft foods or stuff with a lot of liquid like chili once it's grown mold on top, there's no salvaging it because the mold grows everywhere, even if you can't really see it.
The short answer: No. The long answer: Absolutely not. The first rule of the kitchen is: Kill no one.