Lancaster Chicken Corn Chowder with Saffron Cream and Garlic Chips
makes 10-12 large servings
(chowder recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
for the chowder:
4 Tbsp butter
2 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 slices uncured smoked bacon, diced
4 bell peppers, diced (red, orange, or yellow)
5 ears (or 3-4 15 oz. cans) of sweet corn
1/4 cup whole grain spelt flour
5-6 cups chicken broth
2 cups of diced chicken thigh, cooked
1 cup grated Monterey jack cheese
1 cup grated pepper jack cheese
9 green onions, diced
In a large pot, melt the butter and add the onion and garlic on medium heat. Let it sautee while you cut the bacon into pieces and add them to the pot. Stir it around and let it cook for 2 or 3 minutes, and then add the diced peppers. Let it cook for 2 or 3 minutes, and then stir in the corn. Let it continue to cook while you take the chicken off the bones and add it to the pot. Stir it together and then sprinkle on the flour. Mix it in and add the broth, and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add cream, turn the heat down to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Add cheese and green onions and stir until melted. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper as desired.
for the saffron cream:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 small shallot, minced
Pinch of saffron threads
2 cups of heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and saffron and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is softened. Add the cream, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste; increase the heat to medium high and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and vanilla.
for the garlic chips:
1 cup canola oil
1/4 cup very thinly sliced garlic (about 12 large cloves)
Heat the oil. Fry the garlic in batches, Remove from oil with slotted spoon when they are golden brown, taking care that they don’t burn. Drain on a paper towel then allow to cool completely on a wire rack or mesh sieve.
To serve, ladle the chicken corn chowder into bowls, add a half-ladle of the saffron cream, and scatter garlic chips on top.