Corn season will be coming to an end soon (it already has in some places) so we need to enjoy it while it’s still here! Corn chowder is one of my favorite seasonal crossover recipes. As the temperatures begin to cool off, hot chowder has more of an appeal than it might in the middle of summer. And it’s one of my absolute favorite ways to prepare corn.
Have no fear, though, if corn season has already ended where you live. Frozen corn will work perfectly well in this recipe. A 10- to 12-ounce bag should do the trick. I’ve added bacon to this recipe because, as we all know, bacon makes everything better. I’ve also used whole milk instead of heavy cream, which is more standard in chowder recipes. I like using milk because it lightens the dish just slightly. You could even use 2-percent milk if you prefer. For an all-out decadent meal, go right ahead and use heavy cream.
Bacon Corn Chowder
Total Time: 35 minutes Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Note: Half-and-half or heavy cream may be used in place of the whole milk for a richer chowder.
- 3 slices thick cut bacon
- 1 cup diced yellow onion (approximately ½ medium onion)
- 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2½ cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1 starchy potato, such as a russet
- Kernels from 4 ears of corn
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter to finish (optional)
- Fresh parsley for garnish (optional)
- In a large Dutch oven or heavy bottom saucepan, cook the bacon over low heat to render out the fat. After several minutes, turn the heat up to medium and cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan and allow to drain on paper towels. Set aside.
- Drain all but approximately 1 tablespoon of bacon fat from the pan. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Allow them to cook for a few minutes and then add the flour, tossing it with the vegetables to coat.
- A brownish (but not burned) coating should begin to form on the bottom of the pan. Once it’s a nice golden brown color, add the chicken stock and use a spatula to scrape the brown bits up from the bottom of the pan so they combine with the liquid. Bring the mixture to a boil.
- While the stock is heating up, peel and dice the potato. Once the stock is boiling, add the whole milk along with the diced potato. Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the mixture to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the potatoes from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the corn and simmer for another 10 minutes. Dice the bacon and add to the saucepan along with salt and pepper to taste.
- If using, stir in the butter just after removing the pan from the heat. Top with fresh chopped parsley and serve.
Photo credit: Jennifer Farley