Monthly Archives: January 2016

Spicy Chicken-Corn Chowder

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s holiday.   Usually that time of the year means cold and snowy weather for us but we have had a mild winter till just now.  Yes, we are waiting on an artic blast to roar in tonight.  Guess it will make the snow lovers happy.  Anyway, here is a cute picture from last year.  Snowman and photo are courtesy of a family member.


And, yes we did get the return of winter as forecast, as you can see with the red cardinal in the snow.

red cardinal

But winter just means we need to be cooking and eating  more soup.  Of course, soup is a favorite any time of the year but especially so in the wintertime.  This Spicy Chicken-Corn Chowder is a hearty and thick cream based soup that will help warm you on a cold winter day. The sweet corn and red bell pepper are a welcomed  compliment to the jalapeno.  If you want the chowder less spicy, remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapeno (or omit altogether).  This recipe makes a large amount of  chowder, but it makes for great leftovers.

Chowder is typically a seafood or vegetable soup made with milk and usually eaten with saltine crackers.  I think all of us in the USA are familiar with Clam Chowder.  Quite often, on Fridays you will find Clam Chowder as the soup of the day at many restaurants.  Corn chowder uses corn instead of the clams.

Chowder is thought to be a corruption of the French word chaudière (“cauldron”).  Chowder may have originated among Breton fishermen who brought the custom to Newfoundland, where it spread to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and New England.  Source Britannica

An early American recipe for Corn Chowder can be found in The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book, originally published in 1896 and written by Fannie Farmer.  It is a fairly simple recipe and interesting to note it uses canned corn.  The other ingredients are ones that would typically be in a chowder:  potatoes, salt pork (instead of bacon), onion and milk.

I have an iBook version of The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook but a free digital version is available from Google and can be found here.  I bought the iBook version several years ago and had completely forgotten about it until now.

The addition of chicken to the Corn Chowder makes for a very hearty one pot meal.  This recipe is adapted from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe and can be found here.

Spicy Chicken-Corn Chowder

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

4 oz diced pancetta
1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper
1 1/2 cups chopped red sweet pepper
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 jalapeno chile pepper, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth or stock
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups corn, canned, frozen or fresh
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
Jalepeno chile pepper slices or chopped chives (optional)

In a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven cook pancetta until crisp. Remove with a spoon; set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in the pan.

Sprinkle the chicken with the seasoned salt and pepper. Add chicken to the pan.  Sauté over medium-high heat until chicken is no longer pink; remove from pan.

Add the sweet pepper and onion to pan. Cook and stir until tender. Add chopped jalapeno and garlic; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Stir in flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add broth, potatoes,  corn, cream, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.  Return the chicken to the pot and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes,  Discard bay leaves. Serve topped with jalapeno slices or chopped chives, if desired. 

Spicy Chicken-Corn Chowder

1.  The original recipe calls for a whole jalapeno pepper, but I found that 1/2 of one provides enough heat.
2.  Bacon can be substituted for the pancetta.


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