Few things are as comforting as a nice big bowl of chowder. It is one big bowl of love just ready for you to enjoy. Now, I am ashamed to say this, but since moving to California, my tolerance for cold has become….thin. So, to try and warm myself up from the 40 degree weather, I decided to try my hand at making a Bacon Corn and Chicken Chowder. Sounds pretty fantastic right? Well, it was!

This chowder was just what the doctor ordered! It was not hard to make and I had all the ingredients in my house already (bonus!). This chowder reminded me of a baked potato soup because of the creamy consistency and rich flavor. I wouldn’t say you should eat it every day, but after you try it, you will want to! There is so much going on in this chowder, you won’t get bored eating it. The smoky and crunchy bacon, the meaty chicken pieces, the sweet corn, and the sharp bite of the fresh green onion, I mean…what is there not to like?! I think one of the secrets of this recipe is to cook your onions (or any vegetable for that matter) in your saved bacon fat. I am a HUGE believer in saving bacon fat because it just adds so much flavor to whatever dish you are using it in. It is easy to store and if you are going to go to the trouble of making bacon anyway, you might as well keep the liquid gold that its gives off from cooking. I have started to cook my bacon in the oven just because it is so much easier and you don’t have to worry about burning yourself. I just lay the bacon across a wire rack and bake in the oven at 400 for 10-12 minutes, depending on how you like your bacon done! I have also read that if you run your bacon under cold water BEFORE cooking it, it will reduce how much the bacon shrinks! I haven’t tried it, but if you have, let me know if it really works!

Another great life hack is to put the chicken breasts in a Kitchen Aid mixer with the paddle attachment to shred the chicken. It really does work and it makes a job that usually takes a lot of time, a job done in seconds! I do it all the time now! But if you prefer to have nice big chunks of chicken in your chowder, just dice it up any way you like.  Also, if you are big into pork, you could add diced ham instead of chicken! Try switching things up a bit! If you really wanted to go crazy, throw some shrimp in there…or crab….that would really be delicious! See, the possibilities are endless! Long live chowder!

Bacon Corn and Chicken Chowder- serves 4

Ingredients

  • 6  slices bacon, baked in oven then chopped- reserve the drippings

  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, shredded

  • 1  white onion, chopped

  • 1 can green chilis, mild (and fire roasted if possible!)

  • 2 cups frozen grilled corn kernels- or fresh, if in season!

  • 2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 1/2 cups  whole milk

  • 4 tbsp of room temp butter

  • 4 tbsp of flour

  • Diced green onions- as many as you would like

  • Sprinkle cheese- the more the merrier

Directions

  1. Cook bacon in a 400 degree oven on a wire rack that is placed in a roasting sheet pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Once bacon is cooked, cool, and chop. Be sure to reserve some for garnish at the end.

  2. Collect the bacon drippings and place in your dutch oven. Heat the grease in the dutch oven over medium.

  3. Add onion and cook until just translucent. Add in green chilis and corn, stir for 2 minutes.

  4. Then add in the chicken broth and milk. Mix and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low.

  5. Combine the room temp butter and flour to make a thick paste. Whisk in the mixture and   simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally.

  6. Add the chicken and bacon and three quarters of the amount of cheese. Stir until all combined. Put your soup in a bowl and top with extra cheese, more bacon, and your diced green onions.

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