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Chowder Night

FROSTY WINTER DAYS GET US THINKING ABOUT FRIGID WINTER NIGHTS
in front of the fire eating creamy chowders. A clear liquid soup won't do for these evenings. We want a thick soup brimming with potatoes, vegetables and some bite sized meat, chicken or fish. A new family favorite is our Chicken, Corn and Potato Chowder. It's a thick rich soup that's hearty enough to be a meal and delicious enough that people will ask for more. It is also a great soup for children because there are no vegetables, except the corn, to pick at; they are all pureed to thicken the broth! (When your kids ask if there are onions in the chowder, you can smile and say, "Do you see any onions?"). We round out our meal with a simple salad and hot homemade biscuits. If you want to linger at the table, make some herbal tea and pass around a few special after dinner chocolates.

 

 

We consider this a special weekday meal because the chowder requires a little more effort than tossing together a quick pasta dish or roasting fish. We usually prepare it the day ahead in anticipation of a hectic day (make it on Sunday for an easy Monday night dinner). But if you have the extra time, in reality, you can start cooking at 5:00 and have the entire dinner ready, with the kitchen cleaned up and the table set by 6:30. (The time to light a fire in the fireplace is not included). To make it easier, you can always serve a store bought crusty bread, although the aroma of hot biscuits baking in the oven will make your mouth water. We've outlined the steps below:

  1. Chop the bacon and start cooking it.
  2. While the bacon cooks, chop the onions, carrots and celery. Add to the pot.
  3. While the vegetables soften, measure the broth, dill and corn. Start peeling and cutting the potatoes.
  4. Add broth and dill to pot. While it's cooking, finish cutting potatoes and then cut and cook chicken (unless you already have precooked chicken). Start prepping biscuits but do not add liquid until just ready to bake.
  5. Purée broth, and vegetables. Add potatoes and corn to pot and continue cooking. Make salad. Clean up pots, blender, bowls.
  6. Add chicken (and light cream if you are using it) to pot. Rewarm. Set table.
  7. Put biscuits in the oven and serve the salad while they bake.

It's always nice to gather around the table with your family or friends to have a special meal and bring the day to a relaxing close. We think you'll agree that "Chowder Night" will be become one you all can look forward to.

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CHICKEN, CORN, AND POTATO CHOWDER

Serves 8

4 cups cooked chicken cut into ½ inch cubes (about 1½–1¾ pound chicken before cooking)*
¼ pound bacon, diced
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
7 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh dill
4 cups russet potatoes, skinned and cut into ½ inch cubes
2 cups frozen yellow corn, defrosted
½ cup light cream (optional)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt

  1. Cook bacon over low heat in 8 quart saucepan until crisp. Remove bacon pieces and set aside in a small bowl. Drain all but 1 tablespoon fat from the saucepan.
  2. Add onions, celery, and carrots to the saucepan and sauté until tender. Add broth and dill. Cover saucepan, turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  3. Pour soup through sieve into another, smaller saucepan. Purée collected vegetables with a little broth in a blender. Return purée to large saucepan with broth. Add potatoes and corn. Cover saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 12–15 minutes, until potatoes are just tender.
  4. When potatoes are tender, add chicken and light cream (optional) to broth mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook 3 minutes more until rewarmed. Ladle chowder into bowls and sprinkle with bacon. Serve with hot biscuits.

Chowder can be prepared up to two days ahead and kept in refrigerator. Do not add light cream until ready to use. Rewarm over medium heat. Do not boil.

*A quick and easy method to cook the chicken: while vegetables and broth are simmering (for 30 minutes above, in Step 2) place raw, cubed chicken in large skillet. Turn heat to medium, cover and cook, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through, about 12–15 minutes. Drain liquid from skillet and add chicken to soup.

© 2004 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts


Food Philosopher’s® Gluten–Free

Buttermilk Biscuits

Makes ten 2½” round biscuits
Recipe can be cut in half

1½ cups brown rice flour mix*
½ cup sweet rice flour**
4 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons buttermilk powder
½ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 10 slices
2 large egg whites
1/3 cup plus one tablespoon water
Cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Position rack in center of oven. Spray small baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Mix brown rice flour mix, sweet rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, buttermilk powder, sugar and salt in large bowl of electric mixer. With mixer on low speed, cut butter into flour mixture until the mixture is crumbly and resembles a course meal. Put mixture into a small bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat egg whites in the same large bowl of electric mixer until very foamy. Add water and flour mixture all at once and mix at medium speed for about 30 seconds until well–blended. Use lightly floured hands to pat out dough into a large ¾” thick round on lightly–floured surface. Cut out biscuits with a 2½” round cookie cutter. Press dough scraps together and repeat. Place biscuits on baking sheet.
  4. Place baking sheet on center rack of oven and turn oven temperature down to 400°F. Bake 15–18 minutes until medium golden brown. Serve immediately. Biscuits can be stored in refrigerator for up to two days in an airtight container. Rewarm in 350°F preheated oven. Do not use a microwave.

*see "Gluten–Free Flour Mixes" in our Recipe Archive

** available in natural food stores or online from Authentic Foods (see "Gluten–Free Flour Mixes" in our Recipe Archive) or other vendors.

© 2005 by Claudia Pillow and Annalise Roberts