Chicken, Corn and Potato Soup

Chicken, Corn and Potato Soup

Ingredients

4 thick slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped
1 1/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 large green bell pepper, diced
1 large sweet onion, diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced
8 to 12 ounces chopped roasted Hatch chiles (or substitute one large can of diced green chiles)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
2 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
1 quart water
4 large ears corn, kernels cut from the cobs (you can substitute 3 cups frozen corn)
1 cup water
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 bunch scallions, chopped (for serving)
Tabasco sauce, for serving

Method

Add bacon to large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Fry until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is nearly crisp. Drain the bacon on paper towels and set aside. Pour off most of the fat from the pot, leaving the bottom just coated. Add the chicken and saute for about 5 minutes, until nearly cooked through.

Add the onion and bell pepper and continue to cook until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotle chiles, diced green chiles, salt and pepper. Stir for about a minute until garlic is soft and everything is well combined. Add the potatoes and water (it should be enough to cover the potatoes – if not, add an extra 1/2 cup of water). Bring to a boil, then leave it at a hard simmer until the potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes (test one with a fork).

Reduce heat to low. Add corn and remaining 1 cup of water. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes. Remove lid and stir in half and half until heated through. Stir in cilantro.

Serve with reserved bacon, scallions, and Tabasco, as desired.

NOTES

I’ve wanted to make a chicken, corn, bacon type chowder of my own for a good couple of years now, but kept forgetting to do it. Same could be said for making my own baked potato soup. Well, put them together, topped with scallions to underscore the baked potato effect, and this is what you get. Hellooooo delicious. Creamy, savory, spicy enough without being at all overpowering. I loved it; Steve was absolutely mad about it. This was a perfect bowl of wonderful for one last cold night of the year.

Updated August 2013: I altered this rather significantly to involve no cornmeal, all fresh corn instead of frozen and canned creamed, Hatch chiles (if ya got ’em!) and even less half and half. It’s more of a fresh corn stew now than a chowder. LOVE. IT.

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