Curious Cook: Chowder for Val

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In the last year, I’ve made a wonderful discovery.

I have many more friends than I thought, and they’re the kind of friends I call the “2 a.m. friends.” They are the people who you can call in the middle of the night and they will not only answer the phone, they’ll get out of bed and quickly be by your side with no complaining.

Or, in my case, help you move, and spend numerous evenings by your side, helping you unpack, hang pictures, put together and arrange furniture.

Val and Jase are two of those friends.

I met them while I was out one night walking Crowley. He is not good with strangers and doesn’t understand how to play nice with other dogs (although he yearns for friends of the poochy kind). For this reason, when we are out, he always wears a soft plastic muzzle, so that he doesn’t get in situations that are dangerous for others and ultimately more dangerous for himself.

We were walking down a street and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, runs a very small (well, small compared to my beast) dog. The dogs began snarling and growling, but since my Akita was wearing the muzzle, there was no real danger.

But it was dark and my black dog was wearing a black muzzle, so the harness was practically invisible.

Seconds later, a young woman runs up, gets between the two furious pups and scoops up the smaller dog. As she backs up, I notice a young man behind her.

We talk for a few minutes, I assure them there had been no real danger. I introduce myself and Crowley and they introduce themselves as Val and Jase.

The next day walking by I see Jase and ask him to relay a message to Val. I tell him that last night was the bravest, dumbest thing I’d ever seen. From this sketchy beginning, we became friends.

We saw each other often when I was out walking the dog and we became friends.

How good of friends I realized when they helped me move into my new place.

The first night they arrived Jase put together furniture while Val helped me unpack. The second time they came to hang pictures and build more furniture, I cooked for them. Val has celiac disease, so I was kind of stressing about the menu, then I decided to make this simple yet delicious chowder. There were tons of leftovers.

I talked them into taking about half of them home with them.

They didn’t put up too much of an argument about it.

Thanks for your time.

Contact me at dm@bullcity.mom.

Chicken and Corn Chowder

*Adapted from a recipe on Saltandlavendar.com

1-12 ounce package of thick cut bacon cut into small pieces

3 large raw chicken breasts cut into small bite-size pieces

½ medium onion chopped

4-5 sticks celery chopped

1/3 cup gluten-free 1-1 flour

2 cloves garlic minced

½ cup dry white wine

4 cups chicken broth or stock

2 bags frozen corn (I used a combo of shoepeg and fire-roasted corn)

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

3 large Russet potatoes peeled & diced

Salt & pepper to taste

Scallions chopped, optional for serving

Prep your bacon (I find kitchen shears the easiest thing to cut it up with) and add it to a large pot over medium-low heat. Cook until crispy (about 20 minutes).

Meanwhile, prep your onion, celery, chicken and potatoes.

Once the bacon is crispy, take it out of the pot and set it aside. Leave 2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot.

Add the onion and celery to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add in the garlic. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring nearly constantly. Deglaze the pot with the white wine. When it has completely cooked out, add the chicken broth. Give it a good stir to ensure the flour has dissolved and everything is scraped up from the bottom of the pot.

Add in the chicken, corn, cream, potatoes, and 3/4 of the bacon (I save the rest for garnishing the bowls later on). Bring it to a slow simmer and cook until the potatoes and chicken are completely done (about 25-35 minutes). Stir every so often. The soup will get thicker the longer you cook it.

Season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. Garnish with the rest of the bacon and chopped scallions if desired.

Alongside a salad, serves a hungry crowd. I had a ton of leftovers; it freezes and nukes very well.

Chicken and Corn Chowder

*Adapted from a recipe on Saltandlavendar.com

1-12 ounce package of thick cut bacon cut into small pieces

3 large raw chicken breasts cut into small bite-size pieces

½ medium onion chopped

4-5 sticks celery chopped

1/3 cup gluten-free 1-1 flour

2 cloves garlic minced

½ cup dry white wine

4 cups chicken broth or stock

2 bags frozen corn (I used a combo of shoepeg and fire-roasted corn)

1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream

3 large Russet potatoes peeled & diced

Salt & pepper to taste

Scallions chopped, optional for serving

Prep your bacon (I find kitchen shears the easiest thing to cut it up with) and add it to a large pot over medium-low heat. Cook until crispy (about 20 minutes).

Meanwhile, prep your onion, celery, chicken and potatoes.

Once the bacon is crispy, take it out of the pot and set it aside. Leave 2-3 tablespoons of bacon grease in the pot.

Add the onion and celery to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add in the garlic. Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute, stirring nearly constantly. Deglaze the pot with the white wine. When it has completely cooked out, add the chicken broth. Give it a good stir to ensure the flour has dissolved and everything is scraped up from the bottom of the pot.

Add in the chicken, corn, cream, potatoes, and 3/4 of the bacon (I save the rest for garnishing the bowls later on). Bring it to a slow simmer and cook until the potatoes and chicken are completely done (about 25-35 minutes). Stir every so often. The soup will get thicker the longer you cook it.

Season the soup with salt & pepper as needed. Garnish with the rest of the bacon and chopped scallions if desired.

Alongside a salad, serves a hungry crowd. I had a ton of leftovers; it freezes and nukes very well.

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