Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Smoked Chicken and Corn "Creole Chowder"

I love a rich hearty soup... especially one you don't have to feel guilty about.  Cooking the vegetables down then pureeing them gives you a thick creamy base without adding cheese or cream or anything fattening.  The okra acts as a natural thickener.  Don't scoff even if you think you don't like okra.  It's pureed so there are no slimey chunks, and it adds a hint of grassy sweetness and earthiness that is so wonderful.  Fresh is better, but frozen will work just fine.  And if you are really hesitant about the okra, use frozen because the flavor isn't as strong as fresh.  But the smoked chicken and fresh corn are the real stars of this "chowder".

I wrote this recipe using leftover smoked chicken.  It is so so sooo delicious!  However, if you aren't into smoked flavor or don't have a smoker or whatever, a store bought rotisserie chicken will work great.

Smoked Chicken and Corn Creole Chowder
1 lrg onion, chopped
1 lrg green bell pepper, chopped
1 lrg carrot, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 1/2 C sliced okra (roughly 1/3 lb)
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
2 Tbsp minced garlic
~1 lb shredded smoked chicken (4 lrg thighs, save the bones)
2 lrg ears of corn, kernels removed (~2 C corn)
6-7 C water
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
2 bay leaves
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp cider vinegar
hot sauce
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning

   Heat about 1 1/2 Tbsp oil over medium in a large pot.  Saute onion, pepper, celery, and carrot with a sprinkle of Tony's for about 10 minutes.  When the veg starts to stick to the bottom of the pot and turn golden brown, Add garlic, jalepeno, okra, a few chicken bones, 1 Tbsp worcestershire, and 1 C water.  Simmer over med until most of the water is evaprated.
   Add 2 C more of water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 
   Remove bones. Add another cup of water and puree using an immersion blender.
   Add last 2-3 C water so soup is at desired thickness.  Add bay, thyme, second Tbsp of worcestershire, vinegar, hot sauce to taste, and Tony's to taste.  Cover, simmer over low for 30 minutes.
   Add corn and chicken.  Adjust final seasoning to taste.  Cover and simmer over low for 7-10 minutes until corn and chicken are hot.
   Serve over rice.  Garnish with chopped green onions and parsley.
   Serves 6

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