I woke up this morning with a hankering for chicken corn chowder. To the internet I went to find a recipe, none of which I really liked so well, but by mixing and matching I came up with something that filled the bill.
First, you have to make some chicken broth:
1 large (approximately 6 pounds) chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme (1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Combine the chicken, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, pepper and a tablespoon of salt in a large pot. Add water to cover, at least 3 quarts. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat, skimming occasionally as necessary. Add more water as needed to keep the chicken covered and continue to gently simmer until the chicken is fully cooked (the juices from the thigh will run clear), about 40 minutes. Drain the chicken, reserving the broth. Makes approximately 3 quarts.
Shred the chicken, discarding the bones. Now that you have both chicken and broth, you can make the chowder.
Crock Pot Chicken Chowder
4-6 slices thick bacon, diced (you can never have too much bacon)
1 teaspoon bacon grease or extra virgin olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 medium sweet onion, chopped coarse
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup all purpose flour
3 cups chicken broth, divided
1 15 oz can whole kernel corn, drained
2 potatoes, diced
1 lb chicken, shredded
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 pinch nutmeg
Salt and pepper
Heat the bacon and bacon grease or olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook until the bacon fat is rendered and the meat firming but not yet crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onions and garlic. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables begin to soften, about 6 minutes.
Stir flour into mixture to make a paste; cook until lightly browned and flour gives off a slightly toasted smell, about 5 minutes. Watch carefully, flour burns easily. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside to cool, about 15 minutes.
Whisk in 1 cup chicken broth until thoroughly combined. Pour bacon and vegetable mixture into crock pot. Add corn, chicken, remaining 2 cups broth, thyme, cream and nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to combine ingredients, cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.