It’s Winter Carnival day here in Saranac Lake. There was a little bit of snow last night, and it’s pretty cold here, but the kids are all having a good time and gearing up for the parade to start soon. I brought my Chicken Corn Chowder up for a meal today, and it will taste pretty good on this chilly day. For this recipe, I used the frozen corn kernels, since fresh corn this time of year is not nearly as good as the summertime. When using the frozen corn, you don’t need to use the flour in this recipe (which is good since I wanted this one to be gluten-free for my sister Kerry).
Chicken Corn Chowder
10 ears fresh corn, husks and silks removed, or 2 pounds frozen corn kernels
4 slices bacon, chopped fine
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (if using frozen corn, omit this)
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
3 medium red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper
Standing the corn on one end inside a large bowl, cut the kernels from 4 ears using a paring knife. Grate the remaining 6 ears over the large holes of a box grater into a separate bowl. Using the back of a butter knife, scrape any remaining pulp from the cobs into the bowl with the grated corn. (If you’re using frozen corn, which I am, puree one pound of the corn in a blender with all the broth until smooth. You’ll omit the flour in the next step and use the pureed frozen corn in place of the grated corn).
Cook the bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. Stir in the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour (if using fresh corn; if using frozen, see above) and cook for 1 minute. Slowly stir in the broth and milk,scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the potatoes, bay leaves, thyme, and grated corn. Bring to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 15 minutes.
Stir in the remaining corn kernels and cream. Continue to simmer until the corn kernels are tender yet still crunchy, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken and continue to simmer until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.
You can easily make this a meat-free meal by eliminating the bacon and the chicken, and if you want it vegetarian, use vegetable stock instead of the chicken broth. It is a nice, hearty soup to warm you up on a cold winter day.
There’s not much more to add today, since we are getting ready to watch the parade. We’ll be on our way back home to Harriman tomorrow, and probably won’t get home until the afternoon, so I don’t know if I’ll be cooking tomorrow night or not, but I do know that we’ll be discussing the meal plan for next week, so I will definitely be writing about that tomorrow. until then, we’ll enjoy the Carnival and you enjoy your day!