This Bacon Corn Chowder is full of delicious, comforting flavors that can be made with fresh or canned corn.
- 5 ears of fresh corn, shucked (*or you can substitute 2 15-ounce cans of whole kernel corn, OR a combination of 1 can each of whole-kernel and creamed corn)
- 8 slices (about 1/2 pound) bacon, diced
- 1 small white onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups milk
- 1.5 pounds potatoes, diced into 1/4-inch cubes (I used Yukon gold)
- 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles
- 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning (add more/less to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt (add more/less to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- optional garnish: extra shredded cheddar cheese, thinly-sliced green onions, reserved bacon bits, sour cream
- Heat a large stock pot over high heat. Add the corn kernels and let them dry-roast for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until their edges begin to brown and caramelize. Transfer the corn to a plate to set aside.
- In the same stock pot, fry the bacon pieces over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon bacon grease in the pan, and discard the rest.
- Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, or until fragrant. Stir in the flour until combined, then cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
- Add in the chicken stock, milk, potatoes, green chiles, Old Bay, and thyme, and stir to combine. Continue heating until the mixture reaches a simmer but not a boil. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add in the corn, cheese and most of the bacon bits, reserving a few to save as a garnish if desired. Stir to combine.
- Taste test the broth, then season with salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. (I recommended the amounts that I used, but your seasoning preferences may vary.)
- Serve warm, with additional garnishes if desired.