Chicken and Corn Chowder

I like having seasons. Even when we’ve lived places where it’s hard to tell winter from fall or spring from summer, there’s something about the change in temp in October or November that triggers the soup instinct in me.

The Queen featured this great family favorite in the church cookbook she edited in the 80s. Here it is, updated to boost flavor and make it a bit easier to prepare.

brown ceramic bowl with soup
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Chicken and Corn Chowder

A fast and delicious fall supper soup.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken, chowder, corn, fall, soup
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: dad

Equipment

  • Dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil just enough so the bacon won't stick
  • 4 slices bacon, diced to 1/4" bits thick-sliced works best
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut up into 1/2" dice
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 16 oz frozen corn kernels
  • 4 cups chicken stock home-made is best
  • 4 medium russet potatoes 1/2" dice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream or whole milk
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley

Instructions

  • Heat Dutch oven on medium-high. Add olive oil.
  • Add bacon bits and cook till crispy-ish. Remove to a paper-towel lined bowl. You'll add them back later. Also remove some of the bacon fat. Leave a good tablespoon behind for the next step.
  • Add chicken, onion, carrot, and celery to pot and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring well a few times along the way. Add salt and pepper.
  • Add potatoes, corn, and stock. If you're not covering the veggies, add a bit of water.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. Don't cover the pot.
  • Now for the thickening. Here are two methods to pick from: 1) take a couple of ladle-fulls and puree them in a blender. Add back to soup. 2) Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and corn until you're liking the thickness. These avoid adding flour or other method.
  • Add the cream or milk and stir. Add back the bacon bits and a tablespoon of butter. Let the whole thing simmer away for another three minutes.
  • Serve, garnished with fresh parsley, chives, or green onion. Grated cheddar cheese works, too.

Notes

This chowder is fast and hearty on a cold night. It keeps well in the fridge for several days. Notice that we didn’t use flour, corn starch, or other means of thickening. The starch in the potatoes and corn makes for plenty of substance.
Once you’ve made this the first time, it’s fun to try various enhancements. The last time I made it, I used a large shallot instead of onion. Leek would do, too. I used a bell pepper (orange for fall) instead of carrot. And I added some Cayenne pepper for a little heat. 
Chowders are really the thing if you prefer a creamy soup rather than a brothy soup, like I do. So many ways to get creative with it!

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