Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder - Two Ways

We can do this the easy way...or we can do it the hard way. I like both, so let's look at the two ways I create chicken corn chowder, with bacon and creamy deliciousness! One just takes a little longer and a few more fresh ingredients to make a "corn stock", rather than cooking from a standard chicken stock.

If doing corn stock, start from here. If you want the easier version, skip down to the CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER RECIPE section.

CORN STOCK

INGREDIENTS
4-6 ears of fresh corn, unhusked and cleaned
1-2 parmesan rinds (if you have them, no worries if not)
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, trim stems for use in this stock and save the caps for another recipe
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2-1 Tbsp salt (only use 1/2 if you are using parmesan rinds)

DIRECTIONS
  1. Using a good sharp knife, trim kernels from the cobs and place in a small bowl. Set aside 
  2. Put cobs in a medium pot and add Parmesan rinds (if using), mushroom stems, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and 8 cups water. 
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, maybe 40-45 minutes or so. 
  4. Strain resulting stock through a fine sieve into another bowl. Set aside stock, toss solids into your compost.

CHICKEN CORN CHOWDER RECIPE

INGREDIENTS
4-6 cups chicken stock or corn stock (corn stock recipe above), adjust amount to the brothiness you like (see note in step 6 below)
2 slices bacon, diced
4 Tbsp salted butter
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium russet potatoes, diced small
3 cups (~1 lb) chicken meat, cooked and cubed (I love using leftovers from making a whole chicken)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup cream
3 Tbsp flour
2 cups corn kernels (either fresh from your cobs, canned, or frozen rinsed)
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
  1. Make corn stock if you are making it. While stock cooks, prep veggies.
  2. Add diced bacon and butter to a Dutch oven over low heat, melting butter and rendering fat from bacon.
  3. Raise heat to medium, add carrots, celery, and onions and some salt. Saute about 5 minutes, until veggies are just beginning to soften.
  4. Add potatoes and stock of choice, covering all the veg by about an inch. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and cook for ~20 minutes until potatoes and other veggies are fork-tender.
  5. Add chicken, corn, and dried thyme.
  6. Whisk flour into the cream, then slowly pour and stir into the pot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently, to blend all the flavors and thicken the broth. This is where you have some leeway with how thick or thin you like your chowder. If it isn't thickening as much as you like, you can add a bit more cream. If you prefer it more brothy and it is thicker than you like, hit it with some spare corn or chicken stock. There is no wrong consistency; everybody has their preferences!
  7. Season with salt and pepper at the very end to reach desired flavor. It's ready to serve with a crusty bread or side salad, or let cool and refrigerate or freeze to eat later!


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