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autumn essentials: killer corn chowder

Recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

As I write this recipe, the highs of Summer are starting to drop into cooler Autumn weather. Although the afternoons can still achieve upwards of 90f, the mornings are blessed with temperatures in the 60’s. Summer may try to wrest control; however, Autumn, come she will. This is one of my all-time favorite Autumnal potages made with freshly harvested corn and other yummy items. So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.

yield 3 - 4
prep time 20 Min
cook time 1 Hr 15 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For autumn essentials: killer corn chowder

  • 2 - 3 slice
    bacon, diced
  • 2 c
    fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 3 – 4 ears)
  • 1/2 md
    yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalk
    celery, chopped
  • 2 - 3 clove
    garlic minced
  • 4 - 5 lg
    shrimp, shelled, deveined, tails removed, diced
  • 2 md
    chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, diced, about 8 ounces
  • 5 - 6 sm
    red or golden potatoes, skin on-or-off, diced
  • 2 md
    jalapeño pepper, seeded or not, up to you, diced
  • 4 oz
    cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp
    flour, all-purpose variety
  • 2 c
    whole milk, or half & half
  • 1 1/2 c
    chicken stock, not broth
  • 1 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp
    old bay seasoning, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp
    hot sauce, i prefer franks
  • 1/2 tsp
    lemon-pepper spice
  • 1/4 tsp
    dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp
    white pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp
    salt, kosher variety, fine grind, or to taste

How To Make autumn essentials: killer corn chowder

  • 1
  • 2
    You will need a medium-size soup pot to make this recipe. My favorites are enameled cast iron, such as Le Creuset.
  • 3
    Preparation I have divided this recipe into three stages to simplify its preparation. And, as with everything in the kitchen, organization is an important part of the cooking experience. If you can, take the time, up front to prep your ingredients… slice, dice, cut, chop, mince, the lot. It makes everything go so much smoother. And do not forget other prepping concerns; for example, you will need to have the cream cheese and the corn (if you are using frozen) at room temperature. Planning is a good thing. It gives you control, and that translates into confidence, and that control and confidence makes you more creative. Plan/Purchase ~ Prep/Prepare ~ Plate/Present are my six steps to culinary success.
  • 4
    Homemade Worcestershire Looking for a good Worcestershire without anchovies, or all those chemical preservatives? It is easy/peasy to make and tastes like the real thing. So yummy. Homemade Old Bay Seasoning If you like Old Bay and want to try your hand at making your own customized version, you should give this one a try: Homemade Lemon Pepper Spice If you do not have any lemon pepper spice, you can always make some of your own: If you do not wish to make it, you can always substitute some salt, lemon juice, and black pepper.
  • 5
    Substitutions This chowder is very versatile. For example, I am using a combination of shrimp and chicken; however, I have made it with a firm white fish, like cod, and even calamari. How about some smoked sausage? Or, you could leave all of that out and just served it as a corn chowder. Have some fun and play about. In my kitchen it is okay to play with your food. Jalapeño Peppers If you do not have any fresh jalapeño peppers and are not in the mood to go to the grocer, you could substitute a 4-ounce can of chopped green chiles. Hatch is my favorite brand, and I always have a few cans hiding in my cupboard when a recipe calls for a bit of extra kick. All-Purpose Flour The flour in this recipe is a thickener for the chowder base, so if you have gluten issues, or just want another option, you could substitute an equal amount of arrowroot powder or cornstarch.
  • 6
    Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  • 7
    OPTIONAL STEP I am going to mention this optional step, that if you have the time to do, will add another level of flavor to this already yummy soup. If you are using fresh corn-on-the-cob, after you strip the kernels off the cob, place the cobs into a pressure cooker and add the chicken stock. Since you will lose a bit of liquid in the cooking process add an additional 1/2 cup of stock for a total of 2 cups. Seal the vessel, set to high, and pressure cook for 10 minutes, then allow to sit for 15 minutes, and release any remaining pressure. Discard the cobs and use the flavor-infused stock as called for in the recipe. As I mentioned, this is an optional step; however, it gives the chowder an added hit of corn flavor.
  • 8
    Dice up the bacon and place into a pot over medium-low heat.
  • 9
    Let it slowly render out its fat and start to crisp.
  • 10
    Do not speed up the process, just let it slowly cook for about 20 or 30 minutes.
  • 11
    Remove the bacon and reserve. Then add the chopped onions.
  • 12
    You should have about 2 tablespoons of rendered fat in the pot. If you do not, make up the difference with a bit of oil or butter.
  • 13
    Add the celery and stir for 2 – 3 minutes.
  • 14
    Finally add the garlic and stir for about 60 seconds.
  • 15
    Add the chicken and stir until it loses it pink color, about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • 16
    Add the potatoes and jalapeño pepper, and stir to combine, about 60 seconds.
  • 17
    Cover the pot and allow to cook over low heat for about 10 minutes.
  • 18
    While the pot is covered, whisk the flour into the milk and chicken stock, and then add all of the spices.
  • 19
    Remove the cover, add the chowder base and the softened cream cheese, then stir for about 3 – 4 minutes.
  • 20
    Finally, add the corn and shrimp give it a stir to combine, then cover and allow to slowly cook until the shrimp are cooked through and the potatoes tender, about 6 – 8 minutes.
  • 21
    If you are using fresh corn, stripped from a cob, then add the corn first, allow to cook for about 5 minutes, then add the shrimp and cook 6 – 8 minutes more. If you are using frozen corn, you can add the corn and shrimp at the same time, and simmer for about 6 - 8 minutes. One more thing, if you are using frozen corn, make sure is it at room temperature before adding to the chowder.
  • 22
    Sample as it Simmers for Proper Seasoning The spice amounts suggested for this recipe are what I call a base. I almost always add a bit more of one spice or another. So, taste and season, taste and season. Just make sure you leave enough for your guests :-)
  • 23
  • So Yummy
    Serve in a bowl with some crusty bread or oyster crackers or get fancy and use bread bowls. Enjoy.
  • Stud Muffin
    Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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