Cook bacon in a large skillet until almost crisp. Add onion, sweet red pepper, celery, and garlic, and saute 5 minutes. Drain well, and set aside.
Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large Dutch oven; stir in rice. Add the reserved vegetable mixture, thyme, basil, and red pepper flakes; stir well. Return the mixture to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
Cook the corn according to the package directions; drain. Add the corn, cream, and salt to taste to the mixture in the Dutch oven; simmer for 15 minutes. Ladle chowder into individual soup bowls.