There’s something to be said about a delicious, hearty chowder. I’m not exactly sure what that would be, but, well, it’s a good first line…
I’m partial to chowders myself. I prefer them to soup as, in my most humble opinion, soups require a side whereas chowders can stand on their own. Soup needs a salad or a sandwich. Chowder needs a spoon!
For those who know how incredibly gifted I am in the kitchen, this recipe will come as no surprise, but for those who are just tuning in, prepare to be amazed!
First, let’s gather those ingredients, shall we?
- 1 lb. of bacon
- 2 – 28 oz. cans of diced potatoes (a bag of frozen will work in a pinch) NOTE the specificity here.
- 2 “nice-sized” onions — chopped
- 1 – 40 oz. (large) bag of frozen corn
- 2 – 32 oz. “jugs” of chicken broth
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 Cup of flour (more or less)
- 1 Pint of Half & Half (plain old milk works just fine, but half & half makes me feel like I’m somebody)
Once you’ve successfully acquired all of those items from your high-end specialty, organic free range, local grocery store, you are ready to begin.
Now, it is VITALLY IMPORTANT that you follow these instructions EXACTLY! Any variance will garner a substandard result and I simply won’t be held responsible.
Here we go…
First, drag out your largest vessel. This is mine. It’s relatively new, 6 quart, enameled cast iron, weighs a ton, and I tend to burn everything I put in it use it when I’m making mass quantities of chowdery things.
Slap that bacon in there! Well, I actually kind of cut mine up a bit beforehand, but that’s not necessary and, now that I’m sitting here writing this, I wonder why I do it?? Hmm…
Fry it up and drain off the grease, but not all of it, just enough to prevent hardening of the arteries.
Add the chopped onions. (*NOTE – I do not dice. I chunk. I do not care what they look like. I care that they are in the pot and that my fingers remain intact.)
At this point your kitchens smells a little bit like heaven on a stick.
Next, dump in the taters. Stir them around a bit to brown up in the bacon.
Add salt & pepper to taste. Pepper and I have a very close relationship and so I add quite a bit.
When the potatoes and onions are sufficiently “unraw,” carefully tear open the bag of corn (be mindful of not tearing the bag forcefully and unexpectedly spewing frozen corn all over one’s kitchen) and dump that thing in there.
Stir with great joy!!
Immediately following, add both jugs of Chicken broth.
Step back and breathe because you’re almost there. Whew!
Now, here comes the hard part.
Grab your only clean saucepan in the kitchen, 1 qt., 2 qt., 3 qt., whatever, and melt a stick of butter.
Be sure to have your whisk (that won’t scratch the finish on your best saucepan) on hand and whisk in just enough flour to create a thick paste. I think in the culinary world, this is called a roux – a crucial step in the gravy-making process – which I cannot make – ever – but, that’s a post for another day.
Slowly pour in the half & half whilst whisking frantically to prevent floating flour balls constantly to a smooth, well-blended consistency.
The final step is to grab that sauce pan off the burner just before the hard-won roux scorches and/or turns to mortar and slowly add it to your chowder.
Stir and be proud! Add a sprig of parsley – or not…
I let mine simmer for maybe 10 or 15 or 20 minutes to thicken (stir often) or however long I can hold off my hungry family.
Serve with love and maybe a huge slab of cornbread.
This chowder is a favorite in our household and I make it quite often. Why so much you say? Here’s why. It’s even better the next day and
I don’t have to cook two days in a row on the third day it’s great for lunch and so on and so on.
Of course you can just cut the whole thing in half if you don’t want to enjoy 6 quarts of savory, chunky goodness for three or four days straight. Put those arithmetic skills to work – you can do it!
For the record, I’ve actually DOUBLED this recipe on several occasions when we’re having a crowd (yes, I do have a kettle large enough to hold that much chowder) and it’s always a hit.
Go on – give it a try! It’s simple, it’s fast, it’s one pot and you’re going to love it!
Psst… You can print this out on card stock, if you’re so inclined — it’s 4 X 6.
A generous person will be blessed for he shares his food with the poor. Proverbs 22:9