creamy rotisserie chicken & corn chowder
This creamy rotisserie chicken & corn chowder makes you want to buy a rotisserie chicken, even if you had no intention of doing so, just so you can enjoy this savory concoction. It also gives reason to use the abundance of sweet corn that surrounds us at this time of year.
And why not purchase that rotisserie chicken? It’s the gift that keeps on giving, if you ask me.
It gives the first time by…well, just by being its adorable, low maintenance, problem solving selves.
Procuring one means, almost quite literally, having dinner in the bag. Even on the most harried of evenings, we can pair our bird with a baguette and a salad or some steamed broccoli and hold our head up high before our loved ones. Sure, we won’t win any culinary competitions, but we will have accomplished something far more important. We have fed our family a wholesome meal without resorting to the drive-thru trap. And we’ve spent less money to boot.
Best of all, a rotisserie chicken is plum for the taking. All we need is to make our way to a supermarket deli’s heated display case and choose amongst the familiar rows of caramel-colored trussed birds with tantalizing labels like lemon pepper, BBQ, Cajun and – less titillatingly – traditional.
Now, while I think rotisserie chickens are perfectly lovely as a fast dinner solution, I do not share in the sometimes expressed sentiment that they are just as delicious as home roasted ones. For the trouble of placing a raw bird in a roasting pan with some butter, sage, orange juice and half a lemon up its keister, we receive the sort of moist and fragrant results of which Costco rotisserie chickens can only dream.
And let’s not forget the gravy home roasting chicken generates. Drunk with the aromas of citrus and sage, it is an explosion of savory flavor that is not to be undervalued. (I frequently use it as a condiment for small pasta shapes to create a tasty side dish.) Anyone who has ever felt compelled to absorb every last drop of this velvety elixir with a dinner roll is fully aware of the superiority of the experience. That caveat notwithstanding, a rotisserie chicken is our best friend when time is of the essence, and for that we are forever grateful.
They give the second time by giving us an invaluable ingredient: rotisserie chicken leftovers.
Two to three cups of shredded leftover rotisserie chicken can be turned into soups, sandwiches. quesadillas, enchiladas, salads, casseroles, croquettes, stir fries, wraps, pastas, dips and gyros. Our imagination and our tolerance for perusing Pinterest for recipes ideas are our only limitations.
And once all the meat is gone, our friends continue to give in a third way…they give us their flavorful bones. In the spirit of not wasting any part of an animal and thus honoring its life and its ultimate sacrifice, we can use rotisserie chicken bones as the foundation for a flavorful chicken soup. Just throw them in a stock pot with half an onion, a celery stalk, a carrot, 2 bay leaves, and 10 peppercorns and cook for 2 hours. Drain and use the flavorful stock to make a tasty chicken soup or to flavor the workings of chicken pot pie or a risotto. Again, the uses are limitless and our tummies can only be happier for it.
I don’t know why, but suddenly I feel compelled to give some poor unsuspecting chicken a hug.
making creamy rotisserie chicken & corn chowder
Cut 4 slices (4 oz.) lean bacon into small cubes.
In a large pot, add the cubed bacon and heat on medium.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat begins to render (melt). Continue cooking until the bacon pieces turn a caramel color and become crispy, about 10 minutes.
Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Dice 1 medium yellow onion (1 1/4 cups), 1 large red bell pepper (1 1/2 cups), and 1 jalapeno, seeded for less heat if desired.
Melt 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter in same pot over medium heat and add the diced onion, red bell pepper, and jalapeno, and sauté until tender, about 10 minutes.
Prep 2 cloves of garlic by removing their internal green sprouts and mincing them. Add to the pan and cook 30 seconds longer.
Stir in 1/4 cup unbleached white flour, and cook 2 minutes stirring constantly.
TIP: Cook the flour for a whole 2 minutes, as it will cook the flour and prevent it from tasting chalky in the soup.
While stirring, slowly add in 5 cups of chicken broth and whisk until well blended.
Peel and dice 3 medium russet potatoes. Add them to the pot along with 2 bay leaves and salt & pepper to taste.
Bring mixture to a boil stirring frequently, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 15 more minutes. The potatoes should be nice and tender at this point.
As the potatoes cook, shuck 5 ears of corn and then, using a sharp knife, slide along the length of the ear to slice off the corn kernels.
Continue to slice along the side of the corn until you’ve removed all the kernels.
Add 2 cups of white and dark shredded meat from a rotisserie chicken, the corn kernels, and 1 cup of half and half to the pot and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 10 – 15 minutes longer. Serve warm topped with cooked bacon. Makes 8-10 servings.