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I always loved Mama's corn chowder, but I think I've outdone her recipe. Instead of making the standard roux, a paste of cooked flour and butter, or using pureed potatoes to thicken the chowder, I puree a couple of cans of whole kernel corn with chicken broth...What a difference!!! And, since I use fresh corn, I toss the cobs into my simmering "chowdah" and fish them out before serving...this little step is enough to push the chowder from terrific to exceptional. Mama would be proud!!!!
- 6 ears corn
- 2 (15 ounce) cans whole kernel corn, drained
- 5 cups store-bought low sodium chicken broth
- 3 -4 slices bacon, chopped fine (I prefer the sweet smokiness of bacon over salt pork, which is what Mama used...your decision!)
- 1 onion, chopped medium (about 1 cup)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 lb red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 good-sized potatoes...I like the red potatoes over other types,since they retain their shape)
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 scallions, sliced thin (green onions)
- Cut the kernels from the ears of corn. (I know that cutting kernels from corn can be somewhat of an awkward job. Here's a TIP on how to steady the cob and keep the kernels from flying all over the place, all the while maneuvering a sharp knife: Cut the cob in half crosswise (NOT lengthwise), then stand on its flat, cut end. Using a chef's knife, cut the kernels off the ear, one side at a time.) Reserve the kernels and the cobs separately.
- Puree the drained, canned corn and 2 cups of the chicken broth in a blender until smooth.
- Cook the chopped bacon in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot over medium heat until crisp, about 8 minutes. using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Cook the chopped onion, fresh corn kernels, salt, and pepper in the bacon fat until the vegetables soften and turn golden brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, corn puree, remaining 3 cups of chicken broth, and the reserved corncobs to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Discard the cobs and stir in the the heavy cream, scallions, and reserved bacon. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve. (The chowder can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days).