Thursday, June 3, 2010

Chowda Head...

My hubby is from New England. He grew up just outside of the Boston area. One of my favorite things to do when I go back with him is to eat as much clam chowder as possible. I usually try to have at least one a day! A good, classic clam chowder is probably my favorite but there are few chowders I've met that I didn't like. One day I would love to go to a chowder cook-off. I believe there is a big one in Newport, Rhode Island.

Today I set out to make a chowder that could use up the two chicken breasts halves in my fridge. I went online to search for a 'chicken and corn chowder'. None of the recipes I found jumped out at me. So I messed around a little and came up with a pretty fantastic chowder of my own. 

Chicken and Corn Chowda 

  • 2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts, rinsed in cold water and dried well with paper towels 
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 1 carrot, chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 to 2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups organic chicken broth
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 medium russet potatoes (about 3 cups), peeled and diced into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 cups sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over them and rub with your fingers to evenly coat. Generously sprinkle salt and pepper on top of each breast.

When the oven reaches 400 degrees, put the chicken in and cook for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, carrots, garlic, and thyme and cook until the vegetables are good and soft, about 5-7 minutes. You don't want them to brown. Sprinkle in the flour and stir into the veggies. Cook for another minute. Pour in the chicken stock and the potatoes and bring to a boil, cook for 8 minutes uncovered. Stirring occasionally. Add the whipping cream, bring to a boil and cook for about 10 more minutes.
Stirring occasionally and skim off any unsightly foam that collects on top.
Cut chicken breasts into 1/2 inch cubes.

Add the corn kernels and chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste (start with no more than 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and go from there) and simmer for 2 more minutes. Stir in the parsley. Serve in bowls with some hot, crusty bread.

*If making ahead of time, do everything according to recipe except add the chicken only when about ready to serve. 

For vegetarians, leave out the chicken and go with a vegetable broth. 

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