Chilean corn and chicken chowder

Makes 8 servings

Corn is a commonly used staple in South America. Here it's the primary ingredient in a soup that is anything but common. Be sure to use fresh lime juice, as well as a ripe, but not too soft, avocado.


Two 14 ½-ounce cans chicken stock
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved crosswise
4 ounces slab bacon, rind removed, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 medium onion, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch dice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup half-and-half
3 cups corn kernels (about 3 ears) or frozen corn, thawed
Salt and coarsely ground pepper, to taste
4 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 avocado (preferably Haas), pitted, peeled, and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, or more to taste
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Pour the broth into a large pot or Dutch oven. Bring to a low boil and add the chicken. Cook, skimming any foam, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, wilt the bacon in another large pot or Dutch oven until it gives of its fat, about 5 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring until wilted, about 10 minutes. Do not brown.

Sprinkle in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes.

When the chicken is done, remove it from the broth and set aside to cool. Strain the broth and measure 6 cups for the chowder.

Add the broth into the flour and stir until smooth. Add the potatoes and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium-low heat until the potatoes are just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Use your fingers to shred the chicken. Add to the soup. Stir in the half-and-half and corn. Cook, stirring over low heat for 5 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Before serving, reheat the soup over low heat. Stir in the tomatoes, avocado, lime juice, and parsley. Serve immediately.


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