- Husk the corn.
- Carefully remove most of the silk by hand and then rub the ears with a towel to finish the job.
- Cut the kernels from the cobs and place in a bowl.
- You should have about 2 cups.
- Using the back of your knife, scrape down the cobs and add the milky substance that oozes out to the corn kernels.
- Heat a 3-to 4-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the diced bacon.
- Once it has rendered a few tablespoons of fat, increase the heat to medium and cook until the bacon is crisp and golden brown.
- Pour off all but one tablespoon of the bacon fat, leaving the bacon in the pot.
- Add the butter, onion, bell pepper, thyme, cumin, and turmeric and sauté, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for about 8 minutes, until the onion and pepper are tender but not browned.
- Add the corn kernels, potatoes and stock, turn up the heat, cover, and boil vigorously for about 10 minutes.
- Some of the potatoes will have broken up, but most should retain their shape.
- Use the back of your spoon to smash a bit of the corn and potatoes against the side of the pot.
- Reduce the heat to medium and season the chowder with salt and pepper.
- Stir the cornstarch mixture and slowly pour it into the pot, stirring constantly.
- As soon as the chowder has come back to a boil and thickened slightly, remove from the heat and stir in the cream.
- Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- If you are not serving the chowder within the hour, let it cool a bit, then refrigerate; cover the chowder AFTER it has chilled completely.
- Otherwise, let it sit at room temperature for up to an hour, allowing the flavors to meld.
- When ready to serve, reheat the chowder over low heat; don't let it boil.
- Ladle into cups or bowls and sprinkle with the chopped chives.