Frugal Family Feast: Chicken and Corn Chowder

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Have leftover chicken? Frugal Family Feast has a recipe for you. We’re serving up a classic chicken and corn chowder to feed a family of four for less than $15.

Chef Rich Matthews, instructor at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, shared his technique with Money Talks News founder Stacy Johnson. Watch the video and read on for the recipe.

Frugal Family Feast is all about making the most of your food budget, and there’s no better way to do that than by using everything you can from a roasted chicken. Chef Matthews earlier shared his recipe for citrus herb brined roast chicken. He then explained how to make a chicken stock with the leftover carcasses of the two roasted chickens, some spices, vegetables and water.

That stock provided the base for the sauce used in making chicken and ham baked pasta, which we featured in last week’s Frugal Family Feast.

And finally, he crafted this tasty chicken and corn chowder, again using stock made from the carcasses of leftover roasted chickens. Or you can use store-bought chicken stock to make the thick soup base for the chowder. Remember to avoid browning the butter as you add the flour. Once the base is done, you add the other ingredients, including the classic elements of a chowder — potatoes and a pork product. Chef Matthews chose bacon. The remaining cooking time is only 15 minutes.

This fast, simple, satisfying chowder freezes and reheats nicely.

Chicken and corn chowder – courtesy of the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale

 Ingredients for stock:

  • 2 chicken carcasses, meat removed and reserved.
  • 1 carrot, chopped into large pieces.
  • 2 onions, peeled and chopped into large pieces.
  • 1 celery rib, no leaves, chopped into large pieces.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 6 black peppercorns.
  • 3 quarts water.

Ingredients for soup base:

  • 2½ quarts chicken stock.
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour.
  • ¾ cups butter, melted.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Remaining ingredients for chowder:

  • 1 cup heavy cream.
  • 4 ears corn, cut off the cob (or substitute one can).
  • 4 potatoes, red bliss, small dice and simmered separately.
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped.
  • 1 cup chicken meat, or any remaining from leftover roast chicken.
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the chicken stock:

  • Put the carcasses, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf, peppercorns and water in a slow cooker on low and let it cook overnight. Or you can put the ingredients in a pot on the stove. Set to low and let it cook slowly on the stove for up to five hours.
  • Strain the liquid and discard the vegetables and bones. Reserve any meat that has fallen from the carcasses. You should end up with about 2 quarts of stock after the cooking is complete.
  • Reserve the stock to prepare the sauce.

To prepare the soup base:

  • Warm the stock if starting this dish after it has chilled.
  • In a separate pan, melt the butter and then add the flour.
  • Cook together three to five minutes.
  • Slowly whisk the butter/flour mixture into the warmed chicken broth and bring the entire mixture to a boil.
  • Simmer for five to 10 minutes.

To prepare the chowder:

  • Warm the 2 quarts of soup base, if it has cooled, in a pot large enough to hold all ingredients.
  • Add the cream, corn, bacon, potatoes, chicken meat, and fresh thyme to the pot.
  • Simmer on medium low for 15 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste.

After you try this recipe, go to our Facebook page and let us know how you like it.

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Comments & discussion

We welcome your opinions, but let’s keep it civil. Like many businesses, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. In our case, that means those who communicate by name-calling, racism, using words designed to hurt others or generally acting like an uninformed bully. Also, comments that include links to email addresses or commercial websites typically aren't posted. This isn't a place to advertise your business.

  • Randi Edmiston

    When you offer recipes why don’t you have an icon to print it in a recipe condensed form?

  • None of your business

    Won’t even feed the two in our household. Spouse will only eat beef, and expensive beef at that. Nice try, though.