Southwestern Chicken-and-Corn Chowder

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Tonight was one of those What-Should-I-Make? nights, when I didn't plan ahead and I was too tired to really cook. Enter: leftovers and bits of veggies left in the crisper, plus a few cans from the pantry. It's pretty forgiving as well, since you can skip the extra veggies if you don't have them, or substitute ground beef for chicken if you want, or swap out the cheese....just think of this as a basic guideline to create your own hits-the-spot masterpiece. Multiply as needed. I melted the butter in a saucepan, then sauteed the veggies. We are out of creamed corn so I used the last bits of a bag of frozen kernels.cooking veggies After I added the flour to the melted butter in the veggies, I stirred to create a paste or a roux, then cooked that for at least a minute to cook the flour (to remove the raw-ness) and heighten the flavor of the flour. Whisking in the broth created a thickened soup base, then I added the chicken and seasoning.       I had saved the last cup or two of chopped chicken from yesterday's thawed chicken -- I'm funny that way -- I don't like to "finish" a bag of cooked meat in one swoop if I can stretch it -- probably goes back to my feeding-12-on-a-shoestring days. chopped chicken Once I added the cheese and the half-and-half (in my case, literally half heavy cream and half whole milk), I simply needed to whisk a bit to mix well, then cook till heated through and the cheese was melted. (This is why you see several Danish whisk options in the Featured Products below -- it's a great tool for whisking without getting the whisk all clumped.) I topped mine with a bit of parsley from the garden (in January!).... My husband likes it with extra cheese, so.....
Mexican Chicken-and-Corn Chowder
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Southwestern
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
This is a very flexible, forgiving recipe. Substitute a can of RoTel tomatoes for the tomatoes and chilies and Southwestern spices, if desired.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • any other chopped veggies as desired (I used red bell pepper and zucchini)
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed, OR one 14oz can corn (creamed is best)
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • handful mild green chilies (or 1 small can)
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning (or cumin/chili powder combo)
  • 1½ cups chicken broth
  • 2½ cups half-and-half
  • 1-2 cups cheese (Monterey Jack or cheddar/Jack combo)
  • 1-2 cups chopped cooked chicken
  • a few drops hot sauce, to taste
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Melt butter over med-hi heat in saucepan. Add onion and garlic and any firm veggies (such as bell pepper and zucchini) and saute till fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Whisk in flour to form a paste or roux in the butter; cook 1 minutes till golden.
  3. Add corn, tomato, and green chilies.
  4. Stir in chicken broth; whisk till smooth and slightly thickened.
  5. Add taco seasoning and chicken.
  6. Stir in half-and-half and cheese; stir and cook till cheese is melted and soup is heated through.
  7. Stir in hot sauce and salt/pepper to taste.
  8. Serve with a garnish of cheese, cilantro, tortilla strips, and/or sour cream.

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