Just the Time for Chicken Corn Chowder

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There are few things I love more than when my son asks me to post recipes on here so he can make them at school in Boston. We were talking yesterday afternoon and he said he was looking for “stewy” soups to cook. Well, last week, feeling the first fingers of fall on a typical Southern California October Sunday (yes, 89 degrees outside) I made Chicken Corn Chowder and told him I’d put a recipe up here.

Now, let’s start with this. I don’t like super heavy chowders. If they’re too thick they just leave you feeling lethargic. If you’re in Bangor, Maine in the middle of winter and you can’t open your front door anyway that serves a purpose, but here in Southern California (and frankly in most other places) too much flour in your soup is just, literally, a drag. So my chowders are more soupy than chowdery. (Just so you know).

Onward to the recipe.

Ingredients

  • 6 strips of your favorite bacon, cut widthwise into 1/4 inch pieces.
  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 3 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
  • Healthy Pinch of your favorite dried herb mix
  • 2 Cups Frozen Corn (1 package)
  • 1-2 cups diced cooked chicken (if you don’t have any just dice a chicken breast or two and saute’ with a little salt and pepper until cooked)
  • Four cups chicken stock (not broth, stock, you want the extra flavor from the stock)
  • 2 Cups Whipping Cream or Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 TBS Frank’s Hot Sauce (or something similar)
  • 6-10 Red (baby) potatoes, diced
  • 2 TBS Non EV Olive Oil or Grape Seed Oil
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese (to taste)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Recipe

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a large stockpot, cook the bacon strips until crisp, set aside the bacon and drain off most of the fat. Add the olive oil (or Grape Seed Oil) and the Mirapoix (Onion, Carrot, Celery) and the bell pepper and stir over medium heat until the onion is translucent and then add the chicken and then the flour and stir until the flour just starts to brown. Add the corn (it’s fine if it’s still frozen) and stir for one minute (two minutes if frozen). Add the dried herbs and stir until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and bring to a slow boil and then reduce heat to simmer and add the cream. Stir in the hot sauce just before serving.

While the soup is coming to temperature salt and pepper the diced potatoes and place in a greased (or sprayed) pyrex or baking sheet and roast, uncovered, for 25 minutes, until just starting to brown (and tender). Add the potatoes to each bowl of soup as it is served. Do not add them to the soup.  (I don’t like them mushy). If you want more texture, reserve some of the corn and saute’ it for a minute and scatter it over the soup as you serve the soup. You can do this with some extra, diced, red bell pepper too.  If you want to put some cheddar cheese (or almost any kind of cheese you might have) on the soup, you can do this, too.

If you’re like me and you like things with a little heat, add a little more franks with the potatoes and whatever else you scatter over the soup when you serve it.  Yum!

Enjoy.

Now – there are people who would say that the corn should be fresh off the cob, that you should reserve the corn milk (the liquid that comes off the cob as the corn is shaved off), that a chowder should be thick enough to stand up a spoon, that you should use half and half, that the potatoes should be cooked in the soup, etc.  All of these things are true.  Those people should do those things.  You should too if they’re important to you. To me, this is a simple, flavorful and easy to prepare soup that still has some texture. Knock yourself out.

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