Every once in a while I’ll really nail a recipe. It’s usually somewhat of a unicorn event because I don’t follow recipes. I mean, I use them as a guide, but following a recipe from start to finish is something of a painful activity for me.
So yesterday after Husband headed to the gym I thought, “Hey, let’s make chicken corn chowder, it will be fun!” And this is how it happened.
I diced up 12oz of nitrate free, thick sliced bacon (from Aldi) and threw it into a large stock pot. I popped one of my Perdue chicken tender packets (from Costco, just over a pound) into the microwave to thaw it. Then I peeled and diced 2 large carrots and 2 medium russet potatoes and threw them into a bowl. I also tossed a couple handfuls (pre-diced and frozen) green onions into the bowl.
By this time the chicken was done thawing. I drizzled some Olive Oil into a pan on a med burner. After putting the chicken in the pan I sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper and put the lid on. You’ll want to flip the chicken once it’s cooked on one side.
About this time, the bacon was nice and crisp. I scooped the bacon out with a slotted spoon into a bowl lined with paper towel. I then ate several pieces of bacon. As did my children. And later my husband. Because bacon.
Now you must leave the bacon fat in the pan. Do not, for the love of bacon, toss it out. This is a crucial step to deliciousness. With the burner on medium, toss that bowl of onions, carrots, and potatoes into the pot. Here you will also add your seasonings (measurements are approximate, I don’t measure, I just toss/sprinkle/shake) – I add fresh cracked black pepper (1/4 tsp), kosher salt (1/2 tsp), garlic powder (1/2 tsp), and a pinch of thyme (add more to taste). Stir it, stir it good until everything is well coated in the bacon fat. Let it cook for about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup of flour over the veggies and stir well. The brown coating on the bottom of the pan? That is GOOD. Don’t fear the brown bits. Let it cook for another 2 or 3 minutes. Then you are going to pour in 4 cups of chicken broth. Make sure to stir well and scrape up all those delicious little bits off the bottom of the pan. Add frozen corn (I love the Costco Frozen Organic). Lots of corn. How much? I have no idea. 3 or 4 cups?? If your name is Phil and you’re my husband, there is no such thing as too much corn in your corn chowder.
By this time your chicken should be done. Shred it with a couple forks into roughly bite size pieces. Turn off the stove and keep it in the pan covered.
You’ll need to let your broth and veggies cook for about 10 to 15 minutes. You want the carrots and potatoes to be tender. Once they get to this point, you will take out a few ladle fulls of veggies and broth and put them into a blender. VERY CAREFULLY blend these. It’s hot and steamy and you don’t want to melt your face off with exploding soup. I usually cover the blender with a kitchen towel and start with a gentle pulse and eventually set it to low until it’s creamy and smooth. Toss this back into the soup.
You are now ready to add your chicken to the soup. Add and stir. The final step to preparation is 1 cup of a heavy cream, half & half, or whole milk. Whatever your flavor is. I used half&half. Hey, I never said it was a HEALTHY soup.
Your soup is now done and ready to eat. Ladle into a bowl and top with shredded cheese and those tasty bacon bits you previously made. You know, if there are any left. :) And finally… ENJOY. (Not pictured: Bacon because this is the leftover soup. There wasn’t any leftover bacon.)
I think it took me about an hour or less to make the soup. It can be even faster to make if you use a rotisserie chicken.
Pictures to come… because I didn’t take any yesterday. So I’ll have to make the soup again (darn) and take pictures then :)
4 cups Chicken Broth
2 large Carrots peeled and diced
3-4 cups Frozen Corn
2 medium Russet Potatoes peeled and diced
1/4 diced Green Onions
1 lb Chicken Breasts (or 1 rotisserie chicken)
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Pinch Dried Thyme
1 cup Half & Half