Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chicken Chowder

1 large chicken breast, cooked and chopped
4 slices of bacon
2 1/2 cups chopped, peeled potatoes (3 medium)
1 Tbsp. dried onions
1 cup hot water
2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
2 cups milk
1 cup half-and-half or light cream
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 cup cheese
salt & pepper to taste

In a large saucepan cook bacon until crisp.  Remove bacon and reserve 1 Tbsp. of drippings in pan.  Dissolve bouillon in hot water.  Pour into pan.  Add potatoes, onions, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and Old Bay.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  In a bowl whisk milk, half-and-half and flour.  Add to potato mixture.  Cook and stir constantly until slightly thickened and bubbly.  Stir in chicken, bacon and cheese.  Cook until hot and cheese melts.  Serves 4-6. 

Martha:  I found a recipe for New England Clam Chowder and decided to see how it would work using chicken instead of the clams.  It turned out pretty good but didn't have enough flavor.  That is when I decided to try adding the Old Bay.  I took out a spoonful of the chowder and added just a tiny amount of the Old Bay.  That was exactly what this dish needed.  

Lillian:  I love Chowder and soups.  Chowders are more filling, I think, and this one would supply everything that we need in a meal.  I always thought that the Old Bay Seasonings was for seafoods, but this proves otherwise.  I think, too, that I would add a bit of whole kernel corn as I love Corn Chowder.

Food Tester Maggie:  This Chowder is the best!  It's perfect for a cold day when you want something warming and filling.  And Martha is right, the Old Bay hit the spot.

Tips:  When a recipe calls for boneless, skinless chicken cut into pieces, this is what you do.  For perfect pieces, place the uncooked chicken on a cutting board (used for chicken only).  Using a sharp knife, slice the chicken crosswise across the grain into 1/4 to 1/2" strips.  These strips also make great Buffalo chicken tenders but if the recipe calls for diced, line up the strips on the cutting board, a few at a time and cut them again into chunks.  So simple!