I made this recipe from many different chowder recipes to make it my own, with my families' likes and dislikes considered. This soup is definitely a winter recipe,(or at least I think it is). I love it on a cold, rainy, sleeting, day. It just makes you feel warm and cozy! I find myself cooking more in the fall and winter than any other time of the year. Maybe because we need the extra love? ;-) It's a comfort food to say the least! It takes a good bit of prep dicing all the veggies but once that's done it's a snap and so worth the time involved! You'll love this I'm sure! Enjoy!
1Coat chicken breast in olive oil, salt, and pepper; roast in the oven until browned. OR this can be done in the pot on the stove that you will be cooking the chowder in. This is the best way because all the drippings can be scraped from the bottom and adds flavor. Oven is easier, but stove top is tastier. IMHO
2Remove chicken and let rest on a chopping board.
Add butter and flour to pot drippings and make a roux. Stir until lightly browned and flour is cooked.
3Pour in chicken broth; shred chicken and add back to the pot.
4Add all diced vegetables. (corn is optional also)
Add thyme, bay leaf, ranch dressing mix, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
More chicken broth (or water) may be added if needed.
5Add cheese slices, stir until melted and blended, then add heavy cream.
Cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring occasionally from bottom of pot.