Friday, January 31, 2014

Chicken Corn Chowder

So I've had corn on the brain since my husband started working for Husk last year. They're a brand new company with an innovative idea: "Husk is a local food system in Indiana-farms, processing, distribution, and retail grocery- which provides year-round access to local Indiana foods." You can visit their website here to learn more. The first bags of corn he brought home last summer we simply cooked and devoured straight out of the pan. But I also love cooking with corn and have been itching to try some new things. When he brought home several bags of Husk corn and green beans the other day and I couldn't wait to begin experimenting with recipes. A healthier chicken corn chowder was top of the menu.

A note before we get to the recipe. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a c'est la vie personality. Finite details are for when I'm editing photos, or preparing a piano piece for public performance. Other than that, I usually prefer to go with the flow. And... I need to go on before I break into a chorus of Que Sera, Sera... So recipes are usually more like suggestions anyway as far as quantities, especially spices and herbs. Which means that this recipe doesn't have quantities for the herbs, just suggestions. We started with teaspoons of almost everything, then added a pinch more, then another pinch, as tasting determined. Word to the wise, though, let rosemary settle a bit before adding more. I tend to be not as fond of it as other people are and a little goes a long way.

Chicken Corn Chowder
2 chicken breast, cubed
2 bags Husk corn
1 bag Husk green beans, cut
1 yellow onion
2 cups baby carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
5 potatoes, cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 cups chicken brother OR 8 cups water with 8 chicken bouillon cubes
1 can cream of chicken soup

Herbs to taste:
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Thyme
1+ tsp Basil
Kosher salt (add only if you used chicken broth. Bouillon is salty enough that you don't need any more)
Dash crushed red pepper flakes
Dash cayenne pepper
1+ tsp Black pepper

Serves: 15 or so. (Makes great leftovers and work lunches!)

Nutrition info from It's not perfect, but it's close. Also, the sodium is high, but that's from using bouillon cubes instead of chicken broth. 

Calories: 108 carbs: 16 fat: 1 protein: 5 sodium:  469 sugar: 3


In large stock pot add cream of chicken soup, chicken broth, herbs, and carrots (they take the longest to cook). Cover and cook on medium. Once carrots are roughly halfway cooked, add potatoes and celery.

Meanwhile, cook chicken in a skillet. You could add it to the soup pot to cook that way if you're in a hurry, but the chicken stays more tender when it is cooked separately in the skillet. When the chicken is cooked through remove and put in a covered dish. If you time with the cooking of the soup you can then place directly into soup. Since this whole dish was an experiment anyway, we didn't quite get the timing right and had to set the chicken aside. Not the end of the world but it ended up cooling.

Add the corn and green beans. If still frozen it will merely lengthen the cooking time as it will cool the soup. Saute the onions and garlic in the skillet then add to soup.

Just prior to serving, add the chicken to warm. It will still be nice and tender.

*Note: Because we added all the veggies frozen, which added water, and we used water rather than chicken brother, the chowder was a bit watery. We solved this by combining a cup or two of broth and adding with a few tablespoons of flour to make a thickener.

You could serve with crackers, but we all loved it just fine by itself. It was nearly a full meal in itself.

Total time ended up being around 45 minutes of prep/cook time. I can't be sure because I was busy enjoying time with mom, who was visiting from out of state. Between that and the rest of a noisy household, time just kind of flew by... :) You could shorten the time by throwing it all in a crock pot and leaving it on low while you're at work, or throw it all in a large stock pot, forget about it for a while doing other chores and come back. I'm sure it would be great then too. The main reason I added things at different time was to accommodate the different cooking times of the various ingredients so that everything was cooked without being overcooked.

Now for the results. It was DELICIOUS! My husband raved about it, and he's not an over-the-top kind of person. Multiple people went back for seconds that night. My kids liked it top, and they're in that anything-new-is-suspicious stage. This is definitely going on my list of things to make again. Probably throw it in the crock pot next time and have deliciousness waiting when I get home from work!

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