Satisfying comfort food in a bowl is the best way to describe this hearty Chicken & Bacon Chowder. It’s full of flavor and takes under an hour to make.
If you watch the news and weather at all, you know that the south had a major snowstorm last week. After schools let out a couple of hours early on Monday, they closed their doors and didn’t open them the rest of the week.
Lines formed down the aisles of grocery stores and they were emptied as the threat loomed. In fact, since more snow was predicted after the big one at the beginning of the week, the quest for food occurred once again mid-week.
Our snowmageddon was so intense that when we were out and about yesterday, we noticed that the only way the mail trucks were able to get around was with chains on their rear tires.
It was bad folks; really, really bad. We got two inches of snow [maybe].
While closing schools for an entire week was more than a bit ridiculous by Friday, I’m pretty sure it was the bitter cold that prompted it for that final school day. As our thermometer edged towards zero, I lamented the fact that I moved down here to get away from the harshness of an arctic blast.
I also countered the cold the best way I could; with soup. This chowder was perfect because I had everything on hand (I was not one of those that hit the stores on Monday).
I followed the directions exactly, even though everything in me wanted to use the entire package of bacon instead of just four slices. While I did use shallots and chicken thighs, there’s no reason that yellow/white onion and chicken breasts couldn’t be used instead without changing the flavor of the chowder.
Wow, this was good. In fact, I made it on a day when I was watching two of Sophie’s friends who were out of school like she was. They opted for the store-bought pizzas I heated up, but after a taste of the chowder, Sophie took a bowl of that instead.
I don’t blame her. The chowder was full of flavor, had a bit of kick from the red pepper, and, since I added the bacon on top just before serving, was infused with its smoky goodness. We all inhaled our servings.
What I’d Do Different Next Time
I do wish I had used more bacon simply because everything’s better with bacon. but I understand that GH was trying to keep the calorie and fat counts down.
- 4 slice(s) thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 3 stalk(s) celery, finely chopped
- 2 medium shallots, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon(s) cayenne (ground red) pepper
- ½ cup(s) all-purpose flour
- 1 quart(s) lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 pound(s) skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 pound(s) red potatoes, cut into ½-inch chunks
- 2 cup(s) whole milk
- 2 cup(s) fresh or frozen corn
- Thinly sliced basil, for garnish
- Oyster crackers, for serving
- In 6-quart saucepot, cook bacon on medium until crispy and browned, stirring occasionally. With slotted spoon, transfer to plate; set aside.
- To pot, add celery, shallots, cayenne, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are almost tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle flour over vegetables. Cook 1 minute, stirring.
- Slowly stir in broth. Heat to simmering on high. Add chicken and potatoes. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 12 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked and potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. With tongs, transfer chicken to bowl and shred. Return chicken to pot. Stir in milk, corn, and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook 3 minutes or until corn is hot. Garnish with basil and reserved bacon. Serve with oyster crackers, if desired.
I am always the first to defend the south and their lack of resources in being able to handle snow and ice, but by Friday, I have to admit, the closure was more than a little irritating. The chains that the mail trucks had on their rear tires as they drove down totally cleared street, however, that was just ridiculous.