In a chowder, the potatoes perform the thickening. This one contains both potatoes and cream. At the end of the cooking, if the soup isn't thick enough, you just have to mash some of the potatoes in the soup to thicken the broth. The type of potato you use will change its consistency as well. Russet potatoes, with its brown (russet) skin, have a higher starch content and will help thicken this chowder."Chowder breathes reassurance. It steams consolation."— Clementine Paddleford
Although this chowder contains bacon, which is salty, you'll need to season with lots of salt to bring out all the flavors.
RecipeDo all chowder recipes have bacon in them?
adapted from 50 Chowders: One Pot Meals - Clam, Corn, & Beyond by Jasper White
Serves 6 to 8 as a main course
4 ounces bacon, cut into a ⅓ -inch dice
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery (4 ounces), cut into ⅓ -inch dice
1 small red bell pepper (6 ounces), cut into ½-inch dice
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pounds Yukon God, Maine, PEI, or other all-purpose potatoes, peeled and slice ⅓ inch thick
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups heavy cream (optional) or 2 cups chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
Cayenne pepper (optional)
6 green onions, very thinly sliced
In a frying pan, sauté the chicken. Set aside.
Fry the bacon until crisp and golden brown. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat, leaving the bacon in the pot.
Add the butter, the diced onion, celery and red bell pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not brown.
Add the potatoes and 4 cups of stock. The stock should just barely cover the potatoes; if it doesn’t, add enough water to cover. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Add the thyme leaves. Cover and cook the potatoes vigorously for about 10 minutes, until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center. If the stock hasn’t thickened lightly, smash a few potatoes against the side of the pot and cook a minute or two longer to release their starch.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chicken meat. Stir in the cream (or stock). Season to taste with salt, black pepper, and a bit of cayenne pepper if you like. If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder after it as chilled completely. Otherwise, let it sit at room temperature for up to an hour, allowing the flavours to meld.
When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; don’t let it boil. Use a slotted spoon to mound the chicken, onions, potatoes, celery, bell pepper, and bacon in the centre of large soup plates or shallow bowls, and ladle the creamy stock around. Sprinkle each serving with a generous spoonful of sliced green onions.
This chowder is so good that friends of ours who don't eat bacon (or any animal with eyelashes), took a bite and went for seconds. It's that good. What you see in the photos, is my leftover chowder enhanced another day with rice. Although I don't normally eat rice and potatoes together, this left-over chowder is very forgiving.
• Clam Chowder from Recipe Girl
• New England Clam Chowder from Andrea Meyers
• Clam Chowder in Bread Bowl from YumSugar
• Chicken, Corn & Potato Chowder from Cookin' Canuck
• Corn Chowder with Cheddar from Serious Eats
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