No Mild-Mannered Chowder Here!

Long gone are the days of summer, with fresh sweet corn tempting us to end up with buttered cheeks and messy fingers. But just because those days are done, it doesn't mean we can't enjoy sweet corn in great fall dishes. I've been known to take some of that delicious corn and set it aside in the freezer for a remind of those sweet days. And it's particularly great to have on hand for fun fall meals like the chowder I'm sharing today.

One of the things I love about this chowder is that I can put it together in less than an hour, but it tastes like it's been simmering all day. What's more, you can boost the familiar buffalo chicken elements by serving it with a bit more sauce and some blue cheese sprinkled over the top of your bowl. And hey, it's way less messy than eating either sweet corn on the cob or buffalo wings! A little cornbread on the side of a bowl like this and you've got dinner done.

Buffalo Chicken Corn Chowder

  • 2 T. bacon fat
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into small cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. hot sauce, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 T. smoked paprika
  • 1 c. frozen corn kernels
  • 3 c. chicken stock
  • 1 c. half & half
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Blue cheese crumbles, for serving

Heat a medium-sized stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon fat and melt completely. Add the chicken to the pot and sear on all sides for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the buffalo sauce to the chicken and cook until most of the sauce has been absorbed by the chicken, about 2 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside. If you need to add a little oil (or bacon fat) to the pot, do so. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté 5 minutes. Add the smoked paprika and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté another minute. Add the corn to the pot and toss to combine and sauté another 5 minutes. Add the chicken broth, remaining buffalo sauce. and the half & half to the pot. Stir to combine. Keep on a low simmer for 15 minutes.

Ladle about half of the soup into a blender or food processor and pulse until creamy (or use an immersion blender and pulse until half the soup is creamy). Pour the soup back into the pot and stir to combine. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Add the chicken back to the pot and cook until the chicken is warm, about 5 minutes.

Serve the soup with blue cheese crumbles and additional hot sauce, if desired.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes