As it often happens, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season ends with my girl sniffling and blowing her nose, wrapped on the couch in quilts and this year was no exception. When I asked her what she would like for dinner she said corn chowder so I figured the least I could do to make her feel better is whip up a batch. So here is the end result:
Corn Chowder for Lily
8 cups chicken broth
3 pounds potatoes, washed and diced
8 oz bacon, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
1/2 cup diced celery
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4-15 oz cans corn, drained
2-15.25 oz cans creamed corn
1/2 gallon 2% or whole milk
1 pint heavy cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup Wondra flour (optional)
White pepper to taste
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large Dutch oven or stock pot, bring diced potatoes to boil in chicken stock. Allow to cook until fork tender but not soft. Be sure to check doneness after about 7 minutes.
Set yourself up a colander with a bowl or pan underneath to catch the chicken broth when you drain the potatoes. Drain potatoes and set them and the cooking broth aside.
In the Dutch oven render the bacon over medium low heat until the meat is crispy. Remove the meaty bits with a slotted spoon and set them aside.
Increase heat to medium and add the onion, celery and thyme and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Sprinkle in the flour and allow vegetables to cook down until softened, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add drained corn to pan and stir to combine. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the reserved chicken broth and the creamed corn to the pot and bring to a simmer. Add the milk (you don’t have to add all of it) and the heavy cream.
At this point you can slowly whisk in the Wondra flour by sprinkling it slowly in to the liquid, whisking constantly. The Wondra flour will give the chowder a lovely “velvety” consistency–I learned this little trick from Gail “ The Chowder Lady” Matthews.
Bring the chowder to serving temperature, add some white pepper if you want to and re-season with salt and pepper and use the crispy bacon as garnish in individual bowls or just put it back into the pot and stir.
And look at that–Lily is feeling better–I think the soup helped!