As the weather starts to get cooler in the evenings and the sun sets a bit earlier, I start craving hearty meals of soups and stews and casseroles. In other words, I turn to comfort foods, my favorite always being those from treasured family recipes.
It reminds me of a time when Little Buddy was REALLY a wee Little Buddy. It was late in the Fall and I’d been in the kitchen cooking supper as he came over and asked me what we were having. I told him, “Tonight we’re having Grandmother Verdie’s Chicken and Dumplings.”
“Grandmother Verdie’s coming? Then, why are you cooking?”
“No honey, I’m making her recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. It’ll be ready in just a few minutes.”
As we were finishing our Chicken and Dumplings, Little Buddy peeped over the rim of his spoon at me and said, “These pillows taste like a big hug.”
I should have just changed the official name of Chicken and Dumplings right then and there to Chicken and Pillows it was so precious. But his point pretty much sums up how I feel about family recipes, too.
Family recipes are just like big hugs passed from generations before us where loved ones share bits and pieces of themselves in each recipe. Each time we make one of their recipes, it’s as if they are right there at the table beside us.
While this recipe isn’t about Chicken and Dumplings (you can find that in an earlier post), I do want to share with you a family favorite recipe for Southern Chicken and Corn Chowder.
And here comes a little secret. I like to add in a couple of packages of frozen creamed corn. Of course if you have creamed corn in your freezer that you put up from your garden, that would be the very best corn to include! But in a pinch, and for those of you whose corn was gobbled up by the deer on your property like mine was, this creamed corn works just fine!
You’ll want this corn to have thawed considerably before adding it to your chowder. Don’t worry if there are still bits of frozen corn as you add it. As it cooks, it will be perfect!
Here’s how I make it.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion
- 2 carrots
- 3 celery stalks
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 pieces cooked bacon
- 2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 20-ounce packages frozen creamed corn, thawed
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- Drizzle olive oil into the bottom of a large, lidded soup pot. Place over medium heat.
- Add roughly chopped onion, carrots, celery, and minced garlic. Cover pot with lid and cook for about 5 minutes.
- Remove stems, seeds, and membrane from jalapeno pepper. Dice pepper finely and add to other vegetables.
- Cube chicken breasts and add to vegetables. Add enough water to slightly cover all ingredients. Cover pot with lid and cook for about 20 minutes until chicken is done.
- Crumble bacon and add to the chowder.
- Combine milk and flour in a measuring cup and stir well. Add to chowder.
- Open packages of frozen creamed corn and add to the chowder.
- Sprinkle dried thyme into chowder and stir to combine.
- Cover pot with lid and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.
I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does.