Thursday, November 3, 2011

Creamy Corn Chowder

I'm really not a big fan of corn chowder (chowda?), especially if it's canned or made with creamed corn. But, I really, really like this recipe. It's fairly basic, but the ingredients are fresh and the flavor is wonderful. It's creamy, hearty and even better (I think) the second day!

Creamy Corn Chowder
(generously adapted from a recipe by rainy day gal)

6 slices thick bacon, chopped (yes, six!)
3 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 medium-large sweet onion, diced
4-6 medium sized yukon potatoes, diced, unpeeled
6 cups corn (fresh off the cob or can use frozen--thaw first)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth (low sodium is better)
2 cups water
2 cups half and half
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste

Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until just crisp. Once done, remove to a paper towel lined bowl, using a slotted spoon. Reserve about 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease in the pot (this is the good stuff!).

Reduce the heat to medium; add the onion to the bacon grease and cook for about 4 minutes until almost tender. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn.

Immediately add the chicken broth, making sure to scrape the brown bits off the bottom. Then add the water, potatoes, corn, celery and bacon. Season with salt and pepper (I usually add about a teaspoon of salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of pepper to start). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender, stirring occasionally.

Pour in the half and half and bring back to a boil. Check seasonings and then simmer over low heat for another 5 to 10 minutes until thickened slightly. Serves 8. Great served with crusty bread! Enjoy!

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