One of the culinary staples in certain areas of Pennsylvania – especially in Penna Dutch country – is Chicken Corn Chowder. During sweet corn season, it’s pretty much ubiquitous, and I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love it. I mean, sweet corn and chicken in a creamy, slightly spicy broth? There’s nothing not to love about that!
This is NOT sweet corn season, as it’s only January, but that didn’t stop me when I came across this fabulous recipe by Pioneer Woman. I had immediate cravings for this soup that would not be silenced! So, instead of using fresh corn like she does in her recipe, I just went out and got some cans of organic sweet corn. Of course, since I can never leave well enough alone, I had to change it up just a little bit and add chicken and garlic to it, and obviously I had to make it anti-inflammation-friendly by changing the flour from all purpose white flour to whole grain spelt flour. Besides that, though, it’s pretty much just like the original. You can go on over to the Pioneer Woman’s site for the original, but I’ll also write down the recipe with my changes here.
So, I made it, and – Oh My Gosh…it’s so, I mean SOOO good. The Pioneer Woman never disappoints, after all! This version has bacon and colorful peppers and Pepper Jack cheese. Oh goodness. You’ll love it.
Like most soups, it’s really simple.
Start off with making the chicken stock. I used a chicken carcass from roasting a chicken a few days before, and there was a good amount of meat still on the bones that I knew I could use in the soup. If you don’t have a carcass, you can just use any bone-in chicken parts or a whole chicken. Just simmer it in a large pot of water for several hours.
(Homemade stock is obviously best and completely superior to store bought, but if you’d rather you can leave out the chicken from the recipe and just use a box of organic broth instead!)
When you’re ready to start, take the chicken out of the broth to let it cool slightly. Get some butter, onions, and garlic in a large pot. Let them sautee while you slice up the bacon into small pieces. I just use a pair of kitchen shears.
Stick the bacon in with the onions and stir it together.
Let it cook for a few minutes and then add in the diced peppers. I used a red and an orange pepper because they’re purty.
Let it all cook and soften for a couple minutes, and then add in the corn. Let it continue to cook while you remove the chicken from the carcass/bones. If it’s a left-over carcass from roasting, just pick it off with your fingers and toss right into the pot. If it’s from whole chicken parts you might have to cut them into bite sized pieces first.
Stir it all together and then sprinkle the flour over the top.
Stir it together and add in the broth.
Simmer for 5 minutes, stir in the half and half, and then turn down the heat to low. It should be barely, barely simmering.
Simmer for 15 minutes. While you’re waiting, shred the cheese and dice the green onions.
After 15 minutes (or just before serving, if you’re letting the soup wait longer than 15 minutes) add in the cheese and onions.
Stir together until the cheese is melted, taste for salt and pepper and adjust, and then it’s done!
HOW DELICIOUS DOES THAT LOOK!?!?
Serve it up to your hungry family who have been salivating at the smells coming from the kitchen. Wait to be adored.
Chicken Corn Chowder
(recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 slices uncured bacon, cut into pieces (omit if bacon gives you problems)
- 2 bell peppers, diced (red, orange, or yellow)
- 5 ears (or 4 15 oz. cans) of sweet corn (or comprable amount of frozen)
- 1/4 cup whole grain spelt flour
- 3 cups chicken broth
- about 1 cup + chicken (leftover, or picked from bones used to make broth. Can be omitted.)
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
- 1 cup grated pepper jack cheese (can substitute cheddar if you’re afraid of the spiciness)
- 9 green onions, diced
If making your own chicken broth, several hours ahead of time fill a large pot with about 4 cups of water and a chicken carcass, whole chicken, or bone-in chicken parts. Simmer until ready to use, and then take out the chicken to cool slightly before using. (If you’d prefer, you can omit the chicken and just use boxed organic chicken broth instead.)
In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic on medium heat. Let it sautee while you cut the bacon into pieces and add them to the pot. Stir it around and let it cook for 2 or 3 minutes, and then add the diced peppers. Let it cook for 2 or 3 minutes, and then stir in the corn. Let it continue to cook while you take the chicken off the bones and add it to the pot. Stir it together and then sprinkle on the flour. Mix it in and add the broth, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add cream, turn the heat down to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Add cheese and green onions and stir until melted. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper as desired. Serve!