Tag Archives: chowder

Rustic Chicken Chowder

So it’s been a long day, and you stop and get one of those tasty rotisserie chickens from the grocery store deli, dig in like a ravenous beast and throw the leftovers (if any) in the fridge.  Now if you’re like me, you think, “don’t throw that away, you can make something out of it like your grandma would!”  I’ll be honest.  Sometimes I just throw it away.  But sometimes I get industrious and soup happens the next day.

I know it SOUNDS like a lot of work, but what it really is is throwing everything in a pot and letting it simmer while you’re having a lazy day at home. I love how the chicken just falls off the bones in little shreds that permeate the whole soup.  You just don’t get that when you cut chicken up in neat little bites.  You end up with something that tastes rustic and homey, and honestly tastes like you slaved over it, when maybe you just know how to boil.  And if that’s the case, it’s okay, because it’s still going to be awesome.

Rustic Chicken Chowder

Rustic Chicken Chowder

Leftover roasted chicken (with the bones if you have them)
6-8 cups water or chicken broth
2 bay leaves
1 onion, diced
2 stalks celery, sliced
4-5 russet potatoes, diced
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper
1/2 tsp. marjoram
1/2 tsp. paprika
1-2 tsp. chicken bouillon (optional)
2 tsp. cornstarch (optional)

Put the whole chicken carcass in a soup pot (including any meat left on it and the weird jelly-like stuff in the bottom of the pan or package) and cover with water.  Add bay leaves and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down, cover and simmer for a couple of hours.  (If you want to skip this step, you can always use prepared chicken broth and add cooked chicken).  Before adding the other ingredients, remove the bones and skin and return broth and chicken to the pan.

Add onion, celery, potatoes and corn.  Cook for 30 minutes or more until veggies are all soft.  Add cream and seasonings.  If you want more intense chicken flavor, add some chicken bouillon (I like the “better than bouillon” paste stuff) for an extra punch.  I like my soups to be soupy but if you prefer a thicker, more “chowder-like” consistency, mix some cornstarch with water until it dissolves and stir into boiling soup to thicken.

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Four Onion Chowder

I’m definitely becoming a farmer’s market addict.  This week I came home with so many goodies, I planned almost my entire menu around it.  A rainy evening was the perfect time to pull out my onion chowder recipe.  And it was the optimal showcase for the spring onions, chives and fingerling potatoes I bought at the market this weekend.

Fresh chives, spring onions, red onion, and shallot.

If you aren’t familiar with spring onions, they look like green onions on steroids.  I usually only see them at farmer’s markets and usually only in the spring.  I’m only guessing here, but that might be how they got their name.  In any case, if you can’t find them, or if it’s not spring, you can use leeks instead.  With spring onions, you can use all of the white and green parts, just like with a green onion.  With leeks, just the white and light green parts.  Really, I think with this recipe, any combination of any types of onions you like would work beautifully.  As for the potatoes, I used fingerlings because I had them (and because they don’t require peeling!), but feel free to substitute any potato you like or have on hand.

For a vegetarian version, I would suggest simply eliminating the pancetta.  Add a little liquid smoke to replicate the smoky flavor if desired.  Use veggie broth instead of chicken.

Four Onion Chowder

Four Onion Chowder
(Adapted from Food 52 three onion chowder recipe) 

2 tbsp. butter
4 oz. pancetta, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 bunch spring onions (or leeks)
1-2 shallots
2 stalks celery, sliced or chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
2-3 cups chicken broth
1 pint fingerling potatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
2 cups half & half
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chives, chopped
Salt & pepper

In a soup pot or dutch oven melt butter and cook pancetta.  When some of the fat has rendered from the pancetta, toss in the onions and shallots.  Saute until tender, but don’t brown or your soup will be brown.  Add garlic, thyme and bay leaf.  Stir to combine.  Add chicken broth.  If you like a thicker chowder, just add 2 cups. If you like it a little soupier, add 3 or more.  Add corn.  Bring to a boil.  Add half & half and potatoes.  Turn heat off.  Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes until potatoes are tender.  Add chives, parsley, salt & pepper.  If needed, turn on the heat for a few minutes to make it hotter, but don’t bring to a boil.  Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

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