Recipe by Caryn Dalton
Get your big stew pot out and make some of this for a snappy cold night! This is comfort food at its finest and has been known to make people go off their diets! Tee hee, make it your own..there is plenty of room for adjustments with this one! Here are the basics:
For the bouquet garni
- 1 small onion
- 2 bay leaves, lightly crushed
- 2 sprigs tarragon, lightly crushed
For the chowder
- 1 lb smoked sausage (or your preference of sausage)
- 3 -4 lbs red potatoes, skin on
- 1 (24 ounce) bag frozen onion and three pepper blend
- 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granule
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 pinch white pepper
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 cups condensed chicken broth
- 4 cups milk
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 1⁄8 cup butter
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- diced green onion (to garnish)
Directions See How It's Made
- Slice link sausage in half, then in half again and lay slices on foil lined broiler sheet. Broil about 10 inches away from heat until Links get slightly charred. Turn and broil once more until side 2 is lightly charred. Remove from oven. DON'T LEAVE IN THE OVEN WHILE DOING POTATOES CAUSE THE SAUSAGE WILL SHRIVEL UP! Umm -- don't ask me how I know that.
- Wash and cut up your small onion (don't peel it). Add the onion, bay leaves and tarragon to either some cheesecloth or an old worn out rag tied with some string to contain the herbs and onion. Throw this in the big pot.
- Meanwhile, cube about 3 pounds skin on (about 8-10 big) potatoes into small cubes, about the size of marbles or make 'em bigger if you like them that way. Smaller cubes means the chowder gets done faster. Thinly slice about 1 pound of potatoes, skin on. Reserve the sliced potatoes. Put the cubed potatoes in the pot and cover with water by 1 inch or so. Add the 1 tsp of chicken buillon. Cook, on high in your BIG pot so you don't have to worry about the potato foam until you get a good boil and then turn down heat to med-high. Continue to boil 25 minutes or longer depending on how big you cubed your potatoes. You want your potatoes soft enough that they are mashable but not so soft that they begin to lose their shape! Stir often to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
- Meanwhile, with scissors, cut those slices of sausage into little chunks. Reserve.
- Stir fry your onion and 3 pepper blend till the onion is no longer opaque. You do not want to cook until the peppers lose their vibrant colors. Reserve.
- After you have been boiling your cubed potatoes about 20 minutes, go ahead and add the sliced potatotes. Boil another 5-10 minutes. At this point, if you didn't add too much water to begin with you should be running out of water and needing to stir more often. If you did add too much water to begin with, then just remove some liquid until you only have about 2 cups left in the pot with the potatoes. This is the time to remove your bouquet garni (the cheesecloth or rag filled with the onion and herbs) add your chicken broth and turn that heat down to medium. Also, go ahead and add the rest of the spices, the sausage you cut up and reserved and the veggies you just stir fried. Simmer, uncovered for about 10-15 minutes on medium heat. Your chowder should not be boiling. Stir often.
- In a large saucepan, whisk together the cold milk and the flour. Simmer, whisking frequently. Add the butter and melt completely, still stirring frequently. After butter has melted, SLOWLY pour the milk mixture into the big pot with the rest of the ingredients, stirring constantly to incorporate. Simmer on LOW another 5 minutes, stirring and scraping bottom of pot frequently.
- Serve garnished with grated cheddar cheese and diced green onions if desired.
- Note: Corn is a wonderful ingredient to add to this chowder as is chopped spinach and kale. Wonderful served with hot cornbread. Yummy.