My experience with this new recipe was like a first date you initially feel nonchalant about. But, as the evening unfolds, you are pleasantly surprised and find yourself in a giddy tizzy.

I love all things corn and almost always enjoy a good bowl of corn chowder. Knowing I wanted a hearty soup to enjoy with my fresh loaf of Rosemary Walnut Bread, I set about on an internet recipe search. Seeing both ham and chicken versions of corn chowder, I opted for one of the chicken recipes only because it seemed like a more health conscious choice. Upon opening a recipe titled ‘Chicken Corn Chowder’, found on Epicurious, my pleasant surprises began to unfold.

The top item in the ingredient list of this “Chicken” Corn Chowder recipe was slices of bacon. oooh, I like your style. You aren’t quite what I expected. Initially frying the bacon in your soup pot and removing it creates an amazing base for sautéing the onions and peppers. smooth introduction, this date could be better than I thought. Instead of just using the potatoes usually found in chowder, the recipe also includes chunks of butternut squash and red or orange peppers. my, my you are more handsome than I expected. Since I had limited time to make the soup, I was even more excited to learn that it included pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and a bag of frozen corn. you are making this just too easy for me to say yes… The green onions and cilantro thrown in at the end add a fresh flavor and color to the already vibrant vegetable confetti. you sure are different than all the others. I made some adjustments to the recipe and have posted my final version below. see you again some time? giggle giggle…I would love to…

Chicken Corn Chowder
Adapted from Bon Appétit, October 2003

5 bacon slices, chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped red or orange bell peppers (about 1 large)
1/4 cup all purpose flour
6 cups low-salt chicken broth
2 cups 1/2-inch cubes peeled seeded butternut squash
1 extra large or 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1 16-ounce bag frozen corn kernels
1 cup whole milk
1 cup diced skinned roast chicken (1/2 the rotisserie chicken)
1/2 plus 1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
salt & pepper

Cook bacon in large pot over medium-high heat until crisp. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1/4 cup drippings from pot. Add butter to pot; melt over medium-high heat. Add onions and 1/2 cup of bell peppers. Sauté until onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add flour; stir 2 minutes. Mix in broth, then squash, potatoes, and thyme; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until squash and potatoes are tender, about 12 minutes. Add corn, milk, and 1/2 cup bell peppers. Simmer until corn is tender, about 10 minutes. Add chicken, 1/2 cup green onions, and 1/2 cup cilantro; simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.


Ladle chowder into bowls; sprinkle with remaining green onions and cilantro.