LOADED CHEESY, BACON, CORN, AND POTATO CHOWDER
The chowder is easy, ready in about 45 minutes, and the ultimate comfort food. The smaller you dice the vegetables, the faster it’ll be ready. I recommend 1/4-inch dice. It’s loaded with savory bacon, juicy corn, tender potatoes, sweet Vidalia onions, carrots, and celery which all add texture and flavor. The chowder is thick, creamy, rich, hearty, and wonderfully cheesy. Grate your own cheese because pre-grated convenience bags of cheese are resistant to melting. And bacon just makes everything better.
YIELD: about 10 cups
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: about 40 minutes
TOTAL TIME: about 50 minutes
- 12 ounces (3/4 of one pound) bacon, diced small
- 2 cups sweet Vidalia or yellow onions, peeled and diced small (about 1 medium/large onion)
- 1 cup carrots, peeled and diced small (about 2 large carrots)
- 1 cup celery, diced small (about 2 stalks)
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 32 ounces (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
- 4 cups milk, or as needed (I use Silk Unsweetened Cashewmilk)
- 2 1/2 cups Russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes (about 2 extra-large potatoes)
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
- 2 cups corn (I used frozen and added it straight from the freezer)
- 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese (grate it yourself, pre-grated cheese in plastic bags is resistant to melting)
- 1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
- To a large Dutch oven or stockpot, add the bacon and cook over medium-high heat until crisp, about 10 minutes; stir intermittently. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon from pot and place on paper towels; set aside. Keep the bacon grease in the stockpot. You could drain some off if desired but I didn't because there are a lot of vegetables that need to sauté in it.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, and sauté for about 7 to 9 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
- Add the garlic and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the flour and whisk constantly until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth, milk, potatoes, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper, optional cayenne, and bring to a boil. Allow chowder to boil fairly rapidly for about 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender; stir intermittently. At any time while the chowder is boiling, if the overall liquid level is lower than you like and the chowder is too thick, adding a cup of extra chicken broth (or milk or water) is okay. At the end you will adjust the seasoning levels.
- After potatoes are soft, add the corn, and boil for 1 to 2 minutes to warm the corn through.
- Reduce the heat to low, add most of the bacon bits (reserve about 1/4 cup for garnishing), and add the cheese slowly, and stir continuously until melted and combined.
- Add the parsley and stir to combine.
- Taste chowder and add salt to taste. It will vary based on how salty the brand of chicken broth used is, how salty the bacon and cheese are, and personal preference. Make any necessary seasoning adjustments (i.e. more salt, pepper, herbs, etc.), garnish with bacon and cheese if desired, and serve immediately. Chowder will keep airtight in the fridge for 5 to 7 days; reheat very gently prior to serving so it doesn't 'break'. I haven't tried freezing the chowder.
Adapted from Loaded Cheesy Chicken Potato Chowder