Friday, September 24, 2010

Chicken & Potato Chowder

Chowda. Some days I wish I lived in Boston, Mass. because they really know how to make a good chowda. The thick and creamy consistency is nothing less than comforting, especially on a cool, fall night. When I think of chowder, the first thing that comes to mind is a clam chowder. However, for class the other night, one of my classmates prepared a Chicken & Potato Chowder with Thyme- a different spin on the chowder I'm familiar with. She chose this recipe because it highlighted thyme, the herb she did  a presentation on in class. After sampling the soup she made, I made a note to make it at home so I can share it with my family. With a few changes, my adapted recipe for Chicken & Potato Chowder will now be in my fall recipe collection...

Typical chowders consist of bacon, milk or cream and has a thick consistency. I'm not sure I would really classify this as a true chowder since it lacks a thick consistency. Instead, it is rich with flavor from bacon, chicken, potato, half & half and a few vegetables for good measure. For this recipe, the major change was using frozen mixed vegetables instead of corn. This added more color and texture to the dish. And since bacon and half & half are already in the mix, why stop there? I garnished each serving with a sprinkling of shredded cheese. So it may not be a true chowda but it's good eats nonetheless!

Chicken & Potato Chowder
recipe adapted from AllRecipes

6 slices bacon, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced fine
1 onion, chopped
2 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth
2 large potatoes, diced
4 cups frozen mixed vegetables
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into cubes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 cups half-and-half
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
shredded cheese for garnish
In a large pot, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from the pan, and set aside. Drain all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pan.

Saute the onions and garlic in the bacon fat. Add broth and the potato to the pot. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add chicken and thyme; cover. Simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 15 minutes.

Add the mixed vegetables and stir half and half into the soup; simmer for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, and sprinkle with the bacon and shredded cheese. Serve.