Now that it's Autumn, this is the perfect chowder that will bring you comfort on those chilly days. I think it's one of the best I've had and we enjoy it very much. I got this recipe a few years back from a woman I used to work for. When one of my daughters gets started on this chowder, she can't stop!
- 7 -8 medium baking potatoes (a mix of red or Yukon gold potatoes work well, but any other baking potato also works)
- 1 (16 ounce) applewood smoked bacon, chopped to medium diced
- 2 large onions, chopped to small dice (Vidalia's preferred, but other baking potato will do)
- 4 (15 ounce) cans sweet corn, reserve juice (preferable to use a mix of white and yellow corn)
- 2 (15 ounce) canssweet cream-style corn
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 1⁄4 cup butter (optional)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (to taste)
- Wash whole potatoes, leaving their skins on; add them to a large pot. Cover with cold water and place over high heat. Boil until they are done when pierced with a fork. Remove potatoes and cool. (Can boil potatoes the day before and stick potatoes in the refrigerator until ready to use. If pinched for time, they can be boiled on the same day and place in freezer to speed up the cooling process. Remember to remove them from freezer so they won't freeze up).
- Peel skin off of potatoes. Cut potatoes into medium dice and set aside.
- Place a large soup pot on your stove top over med-high heat until pot is hot. Add chopped bacon and cook until browned to desired crispness, stirring every so often to evenly brown. Remove pot from heat and with a slotted spoon, remove diced bacon from the pot and set aside.
- Pour bacon fat into a heat proof measuring cup. Add about 1/4 cup of bacon fat back into soup pot.
- To hot bacon fat, add diced onion; cook and stir until translucent. Add diced cooked bacon and stir. Add black pepper to taste.
- Add all of the corn (both creamed and regular with juice. Using the corn juice is essential as it adds to the "corny" taste). Remove pan from heat for a bit. This will cool everything down and will prep it for the addition of the dairy.
- Add the half and half and stir. Add potatoes and stir gently.
- Adjust liquid if desired adding milk if necessary (it's all a matter of taste how thick or thin you like your chowder).
- Add salt and cayenne to taste. Add optional butter (adds to a rich flavor, but not essential. I only add if it's for a party, otherwise I don't use to save calories).
- Place pot back over medium-high heat. WATCH very closely so it won't come to a boil! Turn down to simmer when it's just about to boil. Pockets of milk foam will form, but that's normal. Adjust seasonings using salt, pepper and cayenne, if necessary.
- Cook for about 15-20 minutes more-or-so over a slow heat until it gets to a desired thickness.
- NOTE: Note that as the chowder cools it thickens slightly as it sets.