Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Creamy Chicken and Corn Chowder

I've clearly been on a Rachael Ray kick lately, and it's because she sets things up so that you use things throughout the week, meaning smaller grocery bill and less waste (and I definitely need help in both of these areas). 

This week, I made a number of recipes from the July/August 2012 issue of Everyday with Rachael Ray in a segment called "One Grocery Bag, 3 Great Meals."  The recipes revolved around chicken, crusty bread, and corn.  Yum-o, as it were.

I was hesitant about this one, not because of the meal itself, but rather about a hot soup's appearance in a summer issue.  I went ahead and made this on what ended up being the hottest day of the summer so far (we are currently in our second heat wave of the 10 day old summer, with temperatures near 100 in both waves).  We cooled it quite a bit, but it was a still a warm/hot soup; I frankly don't think it would be quite as tasty if it were lukewarm or cool.

I enjoyed making the soup and most especially liked making homemade croutons, which are so incredibly easy to do with a good bread on hand.  I omitted the milk to keep it a little lighter, but think it would be even better with a little bit; I don't think I would add the whole cup for a summer soup, though definitely would keep it for winter-time.

Definitely use this as an opportunity to take advantage of the super delicious and super cheap fresh corn in your market right now!

Creamy Chicken and Corn Chowder  Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray July/August 2012

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
EVOO, for drizzling
Salt and pepper
3T butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1lb yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
32 oz chicken broth
4 large ears corn, husked
1 cup milk (omitted)
1/2lb crusty bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 pinch cayenne

1.  Preheat your grill to medium heat.  Drizzle oil over chicken, then season with salt and pepper.  Grill chicken, flipping once, until just firm, around 8 minutes.  Let cool on a plate and cut into small cubes.
2.  Melt 2T butter over medium heat in a soup pot.  Saute onion until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add potatoes and broth, and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Remove from the heat and puree with an immersion blender.
3.  Meanwhile, remove the corn kernels from the cob; scrape with a spoon to remove the "milk" from the corn.  Place all into a large bowl, then stir into the pot.  Add the chicken and milk (if using) and warm over medium heat until heated through.  Transfer to bowls.
4.  Prepare croutons by melting 1T butter over medium-low heat in a nonstick skillet.  Add the bread and toss with the butter.  Season with cayenne and toast until golden, about 10 minutes.  Serve croutons over thte chowder.


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