This Smoky Corn Chowder recipe is inspired by one we enjoyed at the Storyteller’s Cafe in Disneyland, a restaurant inside the Grand Californian Hotel that serves up great American comfort food. Smoky, hearty and chock-full of delicious corn, bacon and chicken, it’s the perfect recipe for cool winter evenings.
This can be made into a vegetarian chowder recipe by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and omitting the chicken and bacon in favor of more corn and potatoes. You can also use leftover rotisserie chicken or leftover turkey in this recipe.
Serve with a few thyme sprigs for garnish, and offer Chipotle Tabasco sauce on the side for those who want a smokier, spicier flavor.
Remember — freezing the bacon makes it easier to chop!
Smoky Chicken, Bacon & Corn Chowder
- 4 strips bacon frozen and finely diced
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 3 stalks finely diced celery
- 1 finely diced red or green bell pepper
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 2 quarts chicken broth
- 2 lbs. frozen corn kernels
- 2 lbs. diced red potatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 pint milk
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoons Chipotle flavored Tabasco sauce to taste
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups cooked and shredded rotisserie chicken or leftover Thanksgiving turkey
- In a large soup pot, fry bacon until fat is released. Add onions, celery and peppers; stir until softened. Add flour bit by bit and stir to make a roux. Slowly add broth, whisking out any lumps. Bring soup to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes.
- Puree half of the corn and add to the soup, along with the diced potatoes. Add the rest of the whole corn kernels and the bay leaf. Simmer until corn and potatoes are tender.
- Put cream and milk into a saucepot and cook just until it begins to boil; immediately remove from heat and add to soup. Remove and discard bay leaf. Add shredded chicken or turkey.
- Adjust seasonings with salt, white pepper, Worcestershire sauce and enough Chipotle Tabasco sauce to create a desired smoky flavor.
- Serve with a few thyme sprigs for garnish. Offer Chipotle Tabasco sauce on the side for those who want a smokier, spicier flavor.
- Notes: Freezing the bacon makes it easier to chop. You may use a smaller amount of any type of hot sauce, if desired, or omit completely.