Chicken and Corn Chowder
The season for fresh corn is way too short. Six weeks and poof! No more. Worse, there is very little overlap with the season for soups, though I love corn in soup. This chicken and corn chowder being a perfect example of why that’s so. Flavors of corn, chicken, bacon and rosemary meld together and yet come at you in layers once you dig in. It’s a great starter for a multicourse meal, a superb lunch or a hearty dinner. Your choice.
But the corn. My answer is the freezer. When there’s good fresh local corn at the farm market, I buy as much as I can carry and what we don’t eat right away, gets sliced from the cob and frozen. That’s how it is that come the end of September and early October, I have corn for my soups and chowders. Freezing it after just a day or two from the field makes sure its got peak flavor well into November, in fact.
What makes this a chowder? I’ve read many articles about chowder and it’s origin, but in the end, it comes down to a creamy soup base that’s not too thin, not too thick. And so there is no thickener in this chicken and corn chowder, but ample butter and cream to give it a silky texture without diluting the flavors.
6 bacon slices, chopped
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, diced to about 1 inch
1 large sweet onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary
6 cups chicken stock
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
Fry the chopped bacon in a stock pot and when it's crisp, remove and reserve the pieces.
Add the butter to the bacon drippings.
When the butter is melted and starts to froth, add the chicken and stir until its starting to brown.
Add the onions, celery and carrots and cook until the onions are soft.
Add thyme and rosemary
Stir in the chicken broth and bring to a boil
Reduce to simmer and add cream
Simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender
Add corn and peas and simmer for another 15 minutes
Taste and add salt and pepper as needed (You can also brighten the flavors with a teaspoon or two of cider vinegar.)
Serve hot with a garnish of reserved bacon bits or a spring of fresh herbs.