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Since I can remember, my son loved this soup. It is the one dish he repeatedly requested I prepare for him and today still, he loves it. He is not the only fan of this soup ... it is a bit of a family favourite and I hope it becomes one of your favourites too! Remember, you can add more or less of any of the ingredients or flavourings to suit your own style of cooking and your own taste. Enjoy!

Mom's Chicken & Corn Chowder

Ingredients


  • 3 chicken breasts and 4 thighs, on the bone
  • a large slug of olive oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, grated coarsely
  • 4 stalks celery, finely sliced
  • 2 large yellow, red or green sweet peppers, diced in 1 cm dice
  • 250 g pack of streaky bacon, cut into thin batons
  • 2 cans of corn kernels in brine, one can drained
  • 2 to 3 chicken stock cubes
  • 1 can low-fat evaporated milk
  • 1 packet white onion soup powder
  • 125 ml parsley, finely chopped
  • salt and freshly-milled black pepper to taste



Chef's hint: You can reduce the cost of this recipe if you use frozen chicken portions, fresh corn on the cob and fresh cream or milk. If you use milk, be sure that you did not add your own flair with a bit of wine or lemon juice; your soup will curdle if you add milk! And if you use fresh corn, you will need about 2 large ears of corn. And do use the water in which you cooked them as stock for a delicious corny taste to the soup!

Method


Remove the skin from the chicken and discard. With a sharp knife, remove as much of the flesh from the bones as you can. Set the bones aside for later. Keeping the dark and the white meat separate, cut the meat into 2 cm pieces. Cover and also set aside for later.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the onions. Sauté briefly over high heat then add the carrots. Sauté until lightly caramelized then add the celery and peppers and sauté until glossy. Now add the bones and brown meat chunks and toss until they take on some colour. Add the bacon pieces and toss well. Sauté until everything is golden and yummy. This is your flavour base so take trouble with this process … you want it nicely caramelized (but not burnt as this will ruin everything with a bitter taste!)

Add the corn kernels and the brine from one can. (The brine is quite sweet – you can omit it totally). Now, cover the food in the pan with boiling water and add two stock cubes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Fish out the bones and check the soup’s consistency. If it’s too thick and chunky to your liking, add a little water but if you like it chunky, leave the water levels are they are.

Now whisk together the can of milk and soup powder and add to the soup, whisking until smooth and thick. Add the chicken white meat and parsley. Now, simmer for a few minutes just to cook the white meat. Taste. Adjust seasoning – you can add another stock cube dissolved in a little water for more body and flavour as well as black pepper. Remember, the art of cooking is to season it well … to you own taste!

Serves at least 10 hearty portions.