Chicken Corn Chowder
Despite the constant 75 degree weather in Dallas, I’m declaring it soup season. It gets down to 50 at night, and in Texas, that’s cold. Tonight we might even make a fire.
I was watching food network last weekend and saw Trisha Yearwood making this Chicken Tortilla Soup for their family’s Halloween celebration, so I decided I would do the same because I love the Garth Brooks-Trisha Yearwood family. Do you ever watch them? They are so fun and really like food and each other. I like to think Trish and I would be really good friends if we ever met.
Anyway, the chicken tortilla soup idea was quickly squandered when my husband demanded corn chowder instead. And by demand, I mean very enthusiastically pronounced his obsession with corn chowder and how delicious it would be if we added chicken. Despite being completely unaware of his corn chowder passion, I decided I could get on board. I’m a fan of all creamy soups and it’s a great excuse to eat a bread bowl.
I still plan to make the chicken tortilla soup in the near future, but for Halloween, it was chicken corn chowder for us. It might have been the second best decision we ever made, right after our decision to get married. John claimed it was his favorite thing yet! This will definitely become a staple recipe for us- it was fast, easy, and light for a creamy soup. The key to making a flavorful creamy soup without all the fat is to thicken it using plenty of flour with chicken broth and low-fat milk, and adding a touch of half and half and/or butter for flavor. It is worth adding the little bit of half & half and butter – you can’t get that creamy sweet flavor anyway else.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup diced celery
- 1 baking potato, skinned and diced
- 3 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1/2 cup corn flour (or regular flour)
- 4 cups corn (fresh or canned), divided
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme (or teaspoon dried thyme)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika (or more for added spice)
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
- Salt to taste
Start by cooking the onion in the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large soup pot. Add the carrots and celery, and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the potato and saute for several more minutes. Whisk the corn flour with 2 cups of the chicken broth. Add it to the pot, stirring to mix and thicken (keep heat around medium). Mix in two cups of the corn (we used fresh corn for 2 of the cups, and canned for the rest). Then, either using a food processor or an immersion blender, blend the remaining two cups of corn with 1/2 cup of the skim milk to create a chunky corn puree. Stir it into the soup. Add in the bay leaf, herbs, Worcestershire, sugar, and spices. Simmer for 10 minutes or so, then turn the heat to medium-low. Whisk in the remaining broth, skim milk and half and half, and finally add the chicken (I boiled two boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you could use rotisserie chicken from the store). If you want to thin out the soup a bit, add more broth/milk to your liking. Add salt to taste (if you use low-sodium chicken broth, you’ll need to add at least a teaspoon or two). Simmer on low for another 15-20 minutes to let the flavors blend. Remove the bay leaf. I believe creamy soups belong in a bread bowl, but that’s up to you. Top with chopped cooked bacon, cheddar cheese, and chives.