Comfort Food for a Winter Storm, by Beverly Hicks Burch

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Comfort Food for a Winter Storm

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Last year and then again a couple weeks ago I was telling Tall & Handsome how, without fail, it seems that Old Man Winter deals Alabama its share of real winter weather (read snow) about two weeks after Christmas. It may not happen every year, but when it does, that’s the typical pattern. This year has been a little different…part of Alabama say a White Christmas for the first time in I’d say my lifetime. I’m going to venture out on a limb here and say it probably won’t happen again in my lifetime.

Well, it’s two weeks later. Last week was New Years (and my birthday) and the temps were mild.

This week? We are looking at “Snowpocalypse 2011”. Predictions range from 2 – 12 inches plus the possibility of ice on top of all that frozen loveliness. Folks in these parts are facing this with the same hysteria calm they did Y2K. If you are dying because you need a dose of bread…then be prepared to die because there is none to be found in the city of Birmingham.

I made my preparations early. I made sure I had plenty of my brand of poison…Propel water. Then Friday evening I made a large pot of Southwestern Chicken and Corn Chowder. With a warm buttered tortilla and life is good, so let snow, let it snow, let it snow…

I had posted this recipe a few months ago, but since then I have tweaked the recipe a tad to make it tastier and “more southwestern” more my T & H who you all know is my southwestern cowboy. I’m still percolating on adding some green chilies (and maybe some chopped tomatoes) for yet another version…it I do, I’ll let you know.

Until, I’m putting on my thermals, snuggling under my blankie, lighting a fire and having a bowl of chowder and warm tortilla! Stay warm yall!

Southwestern Chicken and Corn Chowder

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, chopped

6 cups frozen corn (you can use southwestern corn or sweet yellow corn-I used two bags of Birds Eyes Steamers Southwestern Frozen Corn)

3 large 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 large white potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 cups rotisserie chicken

2 cups half and half

½ cup chopped cilantro leaves (I really like to use more)

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!!

Southwestern Chicken and Corn Chowder

© 2011 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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