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Southwestern Chicken and Corn Chowder, by Beverly Hicks Burch

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Southwestern Chicken and Corn Chowder

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Even though March is here and the first official day of Spring is just days away, it’s still cool (and sometimes downright cold) enough to enjoy a nice warm bowl of soup. Even here is the Deep South we can stay chilly well into April or even May.

I remember one year in the 1990s when I was president of a local quilt guild, we had an exhibit at City Stages. City Stages is a mostly outdoor music event held in Birmingham each year and is traditionally held in June. This particular year it coincided with Father’s Day weekend and it found most of us shivering and trying warm up in the cool breezes of an unusually cold June weekend.

Soup is one of my favorite foods. Soup with warm French Bread, cornbread, rolls, crackers or even a warm buttered flour tortilla you can have an entire meal…and usually have leftovers for the next night or two…a big bonus in this busy, hectic and sometimes exhausting world we live in. Soup, especially home-made soup, can be healthful and nutritious. When I’m sick and puny just a simple bowl of chicken broth can warm my insides and offer comfort. For me, soup is a comfort food…

Recently, Tall & Handsome and I have been enjoying the wonders of the rotisserie chicken. You can find them in most grocery stores and mega markets. We’ve found Sam’s Club has big, tasty chickens for about $4.95. We’ll buy one or two, taken them home and debone them and make up 2 cup packets of shredded chicken to toss in the freezer. (I wrap the chicken in foil and place the 2 cup packets in gallon size zip bags. I label the front of the bag with what’s in the bag and the date I placed it in the freezer. Then when you want to make a casserole, soup, wraps are whatever the hard part is done! Just reach in the freezer and taken out a packet. When it thaws, the chicken is already cooked and you’re ready to move forward with your dish!

Recently we discover a wonderful, inexpensive little cookbook that is wonderful resource and jumping off place for rotisserie chicken cooking. The Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook is full of wonderful easy recipes that will help you cook a great meal in a fraction of the time.

Southwest Chicken and Corn Chowder was inspired by a recipe found in The Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook. Of course, you know I had “Bevize” it a tad and adjusted it to Tall & Handsome and my calibrated taste buds J and I wanted to use some fresher ingredients. After making my first pot I’m considering adding a small can of T & H’s beloved green chilies. I would add them as part of one of the liquid ingredients (probably with the chicken broth) to keep the consistency of the liquid balanced.

Southwestern Chicken and Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, chopped

6 cups frozen corn (you can use southwestern corn or sweet yellow corn-I used a combination of the two because the former is a little harder to find)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

¼ cup all purpose flour

5 cups chicken broth (I use Swanson’s low sodium chicken broth)

2 medium to large white potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 cups rotisserie chicken

2 cups half and half

½ cup chopped cilantro leaves

½ teaspoon Jalapeno Tabasco (or to taste)

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

Black Pepper

1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a Dutch pan over medium heat. Add the onions, corn, garlic, cumin and chili powder. Sautee about 10 minutes or until the onion is soft.

2. Add the flour to the onion mixture and cook, stirring constantly for about 4 – 6 minutes until flour has made a roux and is golden.

3. Whisk in chicken broth. (This is where I would add a can of green chilies as part of the liquid.) Add the cubed potatoes and chicken. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.

4. Stir in half and half and adjust seasoning with salt, pepper and Tabasco. Simmer an additional 10 minutes.

5. Stir in cilantro.

Serve with warm buttered flour tortillas.

Enjoy!!

© 2010 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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