Corn. Cream. Chiles.
Three things that start with the letter C and three things I think are fantastic.
So when I stumbled across the Pioneer Woman’s recent recipe for corn chowder with chiles, I knew I had to make it.
Here’s how it all went down:
1. Say hello to the cast of characters: corn, onion, cream, chicken broth, bacon, green chiles, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Missing from this class picture are butter and corn meal. Butter I used. Corn meal I didn’t have so I improvised. We’ll talk about that more later.
2. Chop finely two slices of bacon and start cooking away in your pan. Enjoy the bacon-y smell! Let the bacon cook for a couple of minutes, then throw in a whole diced onion. If ever two ingredients should get married, I think it’s bacon and onion. Yum!
3. After a few minutes of cooking, throw in about 2 tablespoons of butter to help speed things along. I like to think of the butter as the officiant at our little bacon-onion wedding. He’s bringing two things together. (Yes, I may have watched a chick flick over the weekend.)
4. After the butter has melted and the bacon and onion are beginning to soften and the onion is becoming a bit translucent, add in 4 cups of corn.
I used frozen corn, but if you have fresh corn you want to cut off the cob, go for it. I really wanted Silver Queen corn because it’s white and beautiful and my favorite, but I was buying my ingredients at Kroger and Kroger doesn’t seem to carry frozen Silver Queen corn. Oh well. Publix does. Anyway, stir to mix the corn, bacon, and onions and cook for a minute or two on medium heat so that the corn starts warming through and breaking down a bit.
5. Stir in the whole can of chopped green chiles. Also add your chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Stir well and cook together for a few minutes for flavors to meld. The Pioneer Woman said to use 2 chipotle peppers, but I used three. You can add or take away depending on the level of spicy hotness you want in the finished chowder. The adobo sauce is going to give this dish a wonderful smoky flavor, so don’t go washing the chipotle peppers clean before chopping them. And those chipotle peppers in adobo do look a little weird when you pull them out of the can. Case and point:
6. Pour in the chicken broth. If you bought one of the boxes like I did, you’re going to use the whole 32-ounce container. Prepare for it. Deal with it, then move on. Add in about 1 1/2 cups of cream to and give everything a nice little stir.
Add in salt to taste. PW said to use Kosher salt and I agree. Bring the whole thing to a boil as you stir, then reduce heat and cover.
7. At this point, PW tells you to combine 3 tablespoons of corn meal with 1/4 cup of water. I didn’t have corn meal, so I used a couple tablespoons of flour and about 1/4 cup of water and added that to the soup to thicken it. Caution: it really didn’t work. I think I should have added more flour, but at that point I was really hungry and I didn’t want to mess up the entire pot of chowder by adding too much flour and it getting all clumpy and gross. So, my chowder was a bit runny. I suggest following PW instructions on this one, kiddos.
8. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. You can add more corn meal mixed with water if the soup needs more thickening, but don’t go crazy!
- 2 slices Bacon, Cut Into 1/2-inch Pieces (or Smaller)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 1-½ whole Yellow Onion, Diced
- 5 ears Corn, Shucked (about 4 Cups)
- 2 whole Chipotle Peppers In Adobo Sauce, Finely Diced
- 1 whole 4-ounce Can Diced Green Chilies
- 32 ounces, fluid Low Sodium Chicken Broth
- 1-½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream
- ½ teaspoons Kosher Salt (more To Taste)
- 3 Tablespoons Corn Meal
- ¼ cups Water