Chicken and Corn Chowder

I know, I’ve been absent from the blog lately. It’s not my fault: it’s because of them! You know, the Little Ones. The cutest, most lovable little people in the world, who also have this amazing ability to transform into black holes consuming all their parents’ time and energy. Yeah, it’s been one of those weeks. Those times where I feel like my life has become a constant game of catch-up, revolving around feeding and cleaning and laundry and answering endless questions. Those days when I make mac ‘n’ cheese from a box for dinner and count it as a victory because I didn’t order a pizza.

But it’s not all bad. “Those days” still come with hugs from Big Man and kisses and snuggles from the Little Ones. Plus an excuse to eat extra chocolate because “it helps me de-stress.”

I’m always looking for easy recipes are doable on a weeknight but not full of pre-processed ingredients. Fortunately, I recently found Pioneer Woman’s Corn Chowder recipe and after tweaking it quite a bit for my family’s tastes it is now a go-to weeknight dinner. One of my favorite summer foods is fresh corn, and I love how this soup highlights the sweetness with just the right about of background spice. Did I mention it also has bacon?! My version of the recipe is scaled down from the original and feeds 2 adults and 1 toddler perfectly. I’ve been serving it with homemade biscuits, but it would be lovely with a salad as well. So if you are looking for a great summer soup that’s easy even on a weeknight, I hope you will try this one out.

P.S. This post is linked-up at this week’s Company Girl Coffee

Chicken and Corn Chowder (adapted from Pioneer Woman) Serves 2-3

  • 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, hulled and diced
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chilies
  • 1 (14 oz.) can low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 Tablespoon corn meal
  • 1/8 cup water

Slice the corn kernels off the cob. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is to make a “stand” with a small bowl placed upside down in a larger bowl. Hold the cob upright with the larger end braced on the “stand” and slice downwards. That way you can keep the cob steady and the kernels fall neatly into the bowl (instead of flying all over your kitchen).

Place a medium pot or dutch oven over medium heat and add bacon. Cook until the fat is rendered and bacon is cooked to your desired crispiness. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon pieces to a paper-towel-covered plate to drain, and set aside.

Add the chicken to the pot and cook in the bacon fat until nicely browned and cooked through. Remove chicken and set aside.

Add the onion to the pot and cook in the bacon fat (add a pat of butter if needed) until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes more.

Add the corn and stir well. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up any brown bits (a.k.a. FLAVOR) on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken back in, and stir to combine.

Add the chili powder, salt, pepper, chicken broth, green chilies, and cream. Stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl, whisk corn meal together with water. Stir into the soup, cover, and simmer on low for another 10 minutes until thickened slightly. Stir in the cooked bacon from earlier and serve immediately.

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