12 September 2014

Is it as cold where you are as it is where I am?  Geez, this weather is crazy!  Yesterday we barely made it to 50, which was the coldest high temp ever recorded for September 11th in Milwaukee.  Yesterday afternoon, watching the Cardinals game, I was freezing!  I considered turning the furnace on, but that seemed utterly ridiculous for the first half of September.  I was really wishing I had soup on my meal plan!  I couldn't get soup out of my head, so I got creative and took my planned meal of Barbecue Chicken Quesadillas and Golden Cheddar Corn Cakes and, using most of the same ingredients, turned it into this Chicken Bacon Corn Chowder and cheese quesadillas.  Meal plans are awesome, but you definitely have to be flexible too!  This is a chowder I made last December and loved.  I immediately thought of it when re-designing my meal plan.  I did have to run to the store for one ingredient (creamed corn because I don't keep that on hand), but I needed milk and some pork that they had on sale anyway.  This recipe is adapted from Better in Bulk.

Chicken Bacon Corn Chowder

3 tbsp butter
½ large onion, diced
3 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups whole milk
1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (15 oz.) can creamed corn
6 slices bacon, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt, to taste
Green onions, sliced

Melt butter over low heat in large soup pot.  Add onions and increase heat to medium.  Sauté onions until they are soft.  Stir in flour and cook for a couple of minutes.  Slowly whisk in chicken broth and milk.  Increase heat to high and boil until it thickens.  Dump in corn, creamed corn, most of the bacon (leave a little for garnish), chicken, and paprika.  Reduce heat to low and stir in cheddar cheese.  Taste for seasoning, adding salt if necessary.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with reserved bacon and green onions.

Makes 6 servings.

I cannot even tell you how perfect this chowder was for our first chilly evening of the season.  It really hit the spot!  Lena, my six-year-old, had three servings!  And then begged to have the leftovers for lunch today.  The only bad thing about this soup is that my little one can't eat it because she's allergic to dairy.  She could probably handle the cheese, but the milk would be too much for her.  So I kept out a little bit of the chicken and the corn and mixed them into some brown rice leftover from the dinner before.

This is a pretty easy soup to put together.  I try to keep a can of chicken in the pantry, especially during soup season, because it's so easy to make a meal out of it in a pinch.  

We did buckle and turn the furnace on in the middle of the night, as the temp in our house dropped into the mid-60s.  We never once made it to 90 degrees this summer and the local weather dude has predicted that we will not reach 80 again this year.  This chowder will definitely be a go-to for us in the season to come!

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