Food Friday: Chicken and Corn Chowder

It’s about the fortieth rainy Friday in a row today, and while I greet rain with enthusiasm for the green growth it represents, I would greet it with slightly more enthusiasm if it fell on a day when I wasn’t home. With two boys. Inside.

It isn’t just rainy, either, it’s rainy and chilly. Like so chilly that I just dug a pair of fleece socks out of the winter clothes box that I was about to put in the basement.

So imagine my delight when this recipe showed up in my inbox this week from my dear friend Sarah. I haven’t made it yet, but it sounds wonderful and if my husband will just bring home the bacon (heh, heh) then I am off to the races and making this tonight. (Or tomorrow, depending on when the husband gets home. Because nothing, not even sweet, ever-loving BACON will get me to a grocery store with my two again after a trip we took this week. I’ll spare you the details, but I will say that just when I thought I had everything under control I hear, “Ummmm, ma’am, YOUR KID…?” and turn to see Henry with one leg balanced on the edge of the cart and his three remaining limbs on a large wire display rack featuring two-pound bags of Twizzlers, and now him, too. One more second and he would have been clinging to the rack like a monkey, four feet in the air. And all I could think was, “Seriously, you were making that kind of getaway for Twizzlers? I would have held out for chocolate.”


(Recipe courtesy of Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: Weeknights)

Sarah says:

i found that it was not all that fast and took me almost 2 hours to make instead of the 30 mins they promised. i suppose if you bought pre-chopped vegetables it would only take 30 mins. or maybe i am just a slow chopper.

Chicken and Corn Chowder

* Bacon, 4 slices chopped

* Red Bell Pepper, 1 large, seeded and chopped (I had only 1/2 an orange pepper so I used that)

* Fresh or frozen corn kernels, 4 cups

* 3/4 lb Yukon gold potatoes (i used 12 small red potatoes)

* Chicken Broth, 3 cups

* Dry White Wine, 1/2 cup

* Skinless Boneless Chicken Thighs, 3/4 lbs cut into 1/2 inch chunks

* Green Onions, 6, white and pale green parts thinly sliced (I used a medium yellow onion, minced)

* Fresh Thyme, 3 tablespoons (I used the dregs of my container of dried thyme and then some rosemary)

* Half and Half, 2 1/2 cups (i couldn’t deal with the idea of that much half and half, so i used 1 cup half and half and 1 1/5 cups 2% milk)

* Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

1. Cook the bacon.
In a saucepan over medium heat, fry the bacon until crisp, about 5 minutes (takes longer than 5 minutes, and use a LARGE saucepan because I misread medium heat as medium saucepan and had to switch pots halfway through). Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the drippings.

2. Cook the vegetables and chicken.
Add bell pepper, corn, and potatoes to the same pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the peppers are just softened and the corn and potatoes are slightly tinged with gold, 4-5 minutes. (I added the onions at the point as well). Add the broth and wine, bring to a boil, cover, and cook until the potatoes are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and cook, covered, until opaque throughout, 5-7 minutes.

3.Finish the Chowder
Stir in the green onions, thyme and half and half. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, reduce heatto medium-low, and cook, uncovered, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the chowder into bowls, sprinkle with the bacon, and serve.

Sarah didn’t say how many it serves, but I’m guessing that it will comfortably serve 6-8, especially with a loaf of Easy French Bread. So if you are Michelle Duggar, the Arkansas mother now pregnant with her 18th child, you’ll probably want to triple that. And as Sarah says, think there are any “J”names left?

What are you having for dinner tonight? Because if that bacon doesn’t come home soon, I’m going to need some ideas.

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Anna Sawin

Anna Sawin is a Connecticut-based portrait, wedding, and editorial photographer. She lives in the shoreline town of Stonington with her family and has discovered the perfect cupcake. Just ask, she is willing to share her secret.


  1. sdh on May 9, 2008 at 12:51 pm

    So, I made this on Monday and ate some on Monday, a friend and I had some on Wednesday and I still have probably 2-3 servings left that will be eaten tonight. I think the book said serves 4, but it definitely can feed more than that if you supplement with bread and/or salad.
    I would also recommend that if you are not eating it all at once, you keep the bacon bits separate and add after reheating.
    Enjoy! And hopefully the weather will clear up for Mother’s Day.

  2. sdh on May 9, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    oh and there’s a typo in there — should read 1 1/2 cups of 2% milk, not 1 1/5, because who has a 1/5 measuring cup?

  3. amy Flood on May 9, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    i just had a conversation with my husband yesterday that i think we have reached a point where the kids can no longer come with mommy to the grocery store. my daughter screamed bloody murder the whole time we were there! only after i busted open a not-yet paid-for-bag-of-snacks did the screaming stop. but then, i had to push the cart with 3 kids in it, unload the groceries, bag the groceries, pay for the groceries all with 1 hand while the other hand was busy feeding her cookies. i’m tellin ya, GIRLS ARE NOT EASIER!!!!

  4. Christina on May 9, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    I wish my husband would eat creamy soups and/or corn, cuz this sounds so yum-o. We’re doing taco salad tonight – which is great in 90 degree Texas heat, but not so great on a cold wet day.

    And Amy’s right – girls are NOT easier!

  5. Michelle on May 9, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    There’s nothing like the grocery store with two little boys in tow, is there? This sounds exceptionally yummy, especially on this cold, rainy day. We’re sticking with the Friday night standby, though – homemade pizza : )

  6. Kate on May 9, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    I’ll have to send you my 2 chowder recipes; corn and shrimp and a cheddar corn chowder. Yummy and a lot quicker than 2 hours I promise!

  7. thelandofka on May 9, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    That looks so yummy! I will have to try that out soon. Oh, and the grocery shopping? I do mine online…gotta love technology. Nothing like having the big strong men bring your groceries to your door after slaving over the computer screen buying the groceries. 😉

  8. carrievoris on May 9, 2008 at 9:41 pm

    mmmmm….clipped it for a rainy day – actually would be good here in SoCal today (cloudy and chilly….well, it is 65 – all relative, i guess) but we have a clean house and i’m NOT making dinner…so we are going out for burgers tonight!

  9. katy on May 10, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    will this sound overly sentimental? this week i was grocery shopping, alone, during nursery school one morning and saw all of the younger mothers with their babies in the baby part of their carts and i felt kind of…lonely.

    when i shop with a kid, however, i hate it and always wind up offering one of those 50 cent crucifixes in a plastic bubble (out of the red machine with the metal twisty handle) as a reward for cooperation. also i wind up buying something like pringles as a mid-way bribe, and then the boys and the husband bicker over who ate more than their share of pringles.

    and i am making that sarah chowder. for sure. thank you. i love food friday.

  10. JenBun on May 11, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Happy Mother’s Day, Anna! 🙂

  11. katherine on May 11, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    leave it to my sister in law to find a typo! 🙂

    I have that cook book but haven’t tried anything yet… I am inspired!

  12. Anna on May 11, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    It was GOOD, when we finally ate it at 9 p.m.
    (Not because it took a long time to make, just because, well, that’s when we got around to eating!)

  13. B. on May 12, 2008 at 9:18 am


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Anna Sawin is a Connecticut-based portrait, wedding, and editorial photographer. She lives in the shoreline town of Stonington with her family and has discovered the perfect cupcake. Just ask, she is willing to share her secret.