Monday, February 27, 2017

Kicked Up Chicken Corn Chowder

If you enjoy corn chowder and a little spicy heat, you will love this kicked up chicken corn chowder recipe.  The addition of some cooked chicken turns this soup into a main dish that is perfect for a casual weekend or weeknight dinner.

A Yummy, Spicy Corn Chowder with Chicken

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Kicked Up Corn Chowder with Chicken
Kicked Up Chicken Corn Chowder

This is a perfect recipe for rotisserie chicken.  If you are like me, you have a rotisserie chicken in your fridge right now.  I also have many packages of chopped jalapenos in my freezer from my abundantly producing jalapeno plants grown in my raised bed garden last summer.  I've been using the jalapenos in my salsa and guacamole recipes throughout the fall and winter, but I have many more waiting to be used.  They are perfect for a little extra heat in this soup.  I use one jalapeno, but you can use more if you want your soup a little spicier.  The same is true for the cayenne pepper.  I always start with one-quarter teaspoon but use more if you wish.
Kicked Up Chicken Corn Chowder

Kicked Up Corn Chowder with Chicken

Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes 6-8 servings
Corn Chowder Vegetables
Corn Chowder Vegetables
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, diced
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium red pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 cup fat-free half and half
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat a heavy soup pot (I like to use enameled cast iron pots for soup like this one from Target.) over medium-high heat.  Add four or five slices of chopped bacon and cook until crispy.  Remove the bacon from the pan to a paper towel to drain.  You'll use this bacon as a garnish on the finished soup.  Pour the fat from the pan into a small bowl.  Return one tablespoon of the bacon fat to the pan.  Reduce the heat to medium.

This is a good time to talk about freezing your bacon in packages of 4-5 strips, wrapped in plastic.  Many recipes start with rendering the fat from a few slices of chopped bacon.  Keeping your bacon frozen makes it very easy to chop the bacon.  Have you tried chopping bacon that isn't frozen?  It's a good way to cut off a part of your finger.

Instead of risking my fingers, I just unwrap a package of the frozen bacon strips and cut off as much as I need for the recipe.  I then re-wrap the unused portion and return it to the freezer.  It's easy peasy and I keep all my digits!

Now, let's get back to the soup.  Add the onion, red pepper and celery to the pot.  Season with half the salt and the black pepper.  Cook until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic and the chopped jalapenos.  Cook for one minute more, then sprinkle the flour over the vegetables.  Stir to combine and cook for one minute.

Add the chicken broth and the potatoes.  Bring the soup to a boil and reduce to simmer, cooking until the potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes.  Add the half-and-half, corn, chicken, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, and chopped parsley.  Taste and add the rest of the salt, if needed.  Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes.  Garnish with a sprinkling of the crispy bacon bits.

Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder
Spicy Corn Chowder
Essential Resource List
Lodge Dutch Ovens
Le Creuset Dutch Ovens

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