Thursday, January 26, 2017

Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder with Potato Gnocchi & Cheddar

This, my friends, is the ultimate comfort chowder. I created this recipe by combining my favorite flavors and textures - from the creamy chicken broth to the soft potato gnocchi, this chowder is a complete meal within itself. 

My 14-year-old daughter now calls this her "favorite soup in the entire world" and I have to say that I agree! Definitely not for the dieter, this chowder is a delicious rich and creamy luxury. Here it is in all it's glory. 

Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder with Potato Gnocchi & Cheddar

You will need:
8 Tablespoons butter (2 for cooking chicken, 6 for making roux)
2 boneless chicken breast cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 medium-sized onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 - 32 oz. box chicken broth (or 3 - 14 oz. cans)
1 cup heavy cream 
1 cup whole milk or half and half
One large potato peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup of peeled chopped carrots
1 bag frozen sweet corn
6 ounces extra sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 teaspoon Thyme
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
16 oz. package of refrigerated potato gnocchi 

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large soup pot.
Cut two chicken breasts into bite-size pieces, add to soup pot and sauté until completely cooked. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Add one half chopped onion.
Add three crushed cloves of garlic.
Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally.

In a separate medium soup pot melt 6 tablespoons of butter over medium heat until bubbly. Add 1/4 cup of flour and whisk until brown creating a roux. Continue to whisk over medium-high heat until roux is golden brown.

Once roux is golden brown, whisk in entire box of chicken broth, heavy cream and milk (or half and half). Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly.

Add broth and cream/milk mixture to large soup pot containing the cooked chicken.

Add one large peeled, chopped potato
Add 3/4 cup chopped carrots
Add shredded cheddar cheese (6oz) 
Add 1 bag (about 2 cups) frozen sweet corn
Add salt and ground black pepper to taste 
Add thyme

Stir, bring to a simmer, then lower heat to medium and cover, cooking until potatoes and carrots are nearly fork-soft, about seven minutes. 

Add potato gnocchi. 

Stir and simmer until gnocchi is cooked, about two minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Variations: Note - This recipe is easily adjustable - here are a few different ways that I have made it:
You can add another chicken breast if you like it with more chicken.
You can add more or less cheese depending on your tastes.
You can use two potatoes instead of one, or omit them completely if you prefer. I have found that one big one works well. 
To make it super-decadent, use 2 cups of heavy cream and omit the milk. This variation is super rich and delicious but of course has more fat and calories. I like it on the rich side so I've found that 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup of half and half is my preferred way to make it. Season to taste!

I'd love to know - what's your favorite homemade chowder or soup?